The Miami Heat have done it before — win four straight NBA Finals games including the middle three — and a repeat will be in their minds but Oklahoma City will be out to dash those dreams when Game Three of the NBA Finals is played in Miami on Monday.
Back in 2006 it was Pat Riley and co-captains Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade who led the team from 0-2 down to win four straight to clinch the crown against the Dallas Mavericks.
Now Riley and Dwyade have LeBron James, Chris Bosh, coach Erik Spoelstra and a host of role players looking to seal the deal in front of home fans at American Airlines Arena.
The Heat evened the series and took homecourt advantage with a 100-96 win in Game Two, handing the Thunder their first loss of the playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The Heat took a huge 16-point early lead before surviving an endgame rally by the Thunder, who trimmed the deficit down to two points and had a chance to tie it but Kevin Durant missed on a baseline shot.
Durant and James each had 32 points in Game Two. The Heat had Wade contributing 24 points while Russell Westbrook added 27 for the Thunder but not after struggling in the early goings when he made just one of eight shots.
The Thunder have proven they can win on the road, scoring huge wins against the Mavericks in Dallas, the Lakers in Los Angeles and the Spurs in San Antonio en route to the title series. One win in Miami will ensure the series will go back to Oklahoma City.