If Wednesday night's showdown between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat was, indeed, a preview of the NBA finals, everyone is probably in for a spectacular seven-game treat when June rolls around. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were fantastic for OKC, but LeBron James stole the show. He scored three buckets in a row at one point late in the fourth quarter, helping the Heat to a 98-93 win.
James led all scorers with 34 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out 10 of his team's 16 assists. Durant scored 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting while Westbrook added 28 of his own, but they got little help from their fellow starters. Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha combined for just 10 points on 13 shots. James Harden was solid off the bench with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, but didn't contribute enough to offset the lack of offense from the rest of the team.
The period of play between seven and two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter was truly spectacular, with Durant and James trading blows. With 2:33 left, Durant made a jumper to bring his team within one point. Chris Bosh would hit the next basket with 1:01 left to extend Miami's lead to three, but he almost gave free points back to OKC. With 43 seconds remaining, Bosh committed a needless foul on Perkins, stopping the clock and sending him to the line. Fortunately for the Heat, both of Perkins' free throws were ugly misses.
The Heat failed to score on their next possession, thanks in part to some poor shot selection by James. The Thunder inexplicably let James get post position on Westbrook, one-on-one, but James even more inexplicably opted for a fadeaway jump shot. Oklahoma City got the ball back and set up Durant for a 3-point shot, but he missed long. Westbrook appeared to grab the rebound, but fumbled the ball out of bounds. Dwyane Wade, who had a relatively quiet offensive outing, went on to hit two free throws to ice the game.
The Heat have been playing poorly on the road recently, having lost six of their last 10 away games, but they're still looking great at AmericanAirlines Arena. They still haven't lost at home since Jan. 22. With this win, they're now just two games behind the Chicago Bulls for first place in the East. This was the second straight loss for the Thunder, who lead the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the West by one game.
For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City, and for Miami Heat news and info, head over to Peninsula Is Mightier. All your NBA coverage can be found at SB Nation's NBA page.