Oklahoma City entered the NBA Finals as the favorite to win the championship, but it is Miami which sits on the brink of history as the two teams prepare for tonight’s Game 5 showdown at the AmericanAirlines Arena. This evening’s contest, which will be broadcast live on ABC, is scheduled fora 9:00pm ET start. NBA Odds have the Heat listed as a -3 against the spread favorite to end the series tonight; the Thunder are drawing +130 odds to win and send the Finals back to Oklahoma City. The Over/Under for this evening’s potential finale is set at 193.5 points.
Oklahoma City probably did not envision itself sitting in this situation, down 1-3 with one more game to be played in Miami, but that is exactly where fate has taken the team. Quite simply, since the Thunder’s 105-94 Game 1 victory, the Heat have been the better team and they continued to prove that on Tuesday night.
Yes, Oklahoma City had its opportunities, just as it has in every game, but they again came up short in the fourth quarter, losing 104-98. The Thunder shot a respectable 48.8 percent from the field, but Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shouldered almost the entire offensive load as James Harden continued his offensive struggles. Durant finished the game with 28 points while Westbrook tallied a game high 43 on 20-of-32 shooting. The rest of the starting lineup added just 13 points and Harden totled eight in 37 minutes off the bench (averaging 10.8 points per game in the Finals after averaging 17.6 per contest in the Thunder’s first three playoff series).
Miami got another huge performance from LeBron James, who totaled 26 points, nine rebounds, and 12 assists in yet another attempt to remove his unjustified choke artist label. Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers each added 25 points as they combined to go 5-0f-12 from beyond the arc.
The Heat, which finished with a 40-35 edge on the glass, shot 48.1 percent for the game and they knocked down 18 of their 25 free throw attempts (OKC 15-of-16 from the charity stripe).
The Thunder have yet to face elimination in these playoffs, but they do not appear to be a fold the tents bunch. Knowing that two home games are on the other side of win, Durant and company will give it their all this evening. Conversely, the last thing the Heat want to do is board a plane for Oklahoma City following a failed opportunity to win the NBA Finals in Miami. In other words, expect a close finish this evening.
NBA Odds Betting Trend: The Under is 9-1 in the Heat’s last 10 games as a home favorite with a total between 190 and 195 points.
2012 NBA Finals Odds Oklahoma City Thunder vs Miami Heat Game 5: Provided by SBG Global
Oklahoma City Thunder +3 (-110), Over 193.5 (-110), +130 (Moneyline)
Miami Heat -3 (-110), Under 193.5 (-110), -150 (Moneyline)