Heat Vs. Thunder, NBA Finals Game 1: Turnover Switch In Second Half Stands Out

The Miami Heat ran up a 7-point lead at halftime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but lost by 11. That means something definitely changed in the second half! I laid out the quarterly performance for each time in a graphic way. This chart breaks down how each possession for each team ended in each quarter.

Finals_g1_medium

A couple of things here: everything is based on possessions, not points. So 'two made 2-pointers' looks the same as 'two made 3-pointers.' Also, because of this, two missed free throws in the box score is represented by one missed free throw possession on this chart, a simplified estimate that there are two FTs per FT possession.

The first thing that sticks out: the turnover situation reversed completely. Miami had one in the first quarter (allowing them more shots), and three in each quarter thereafter. Oklahoma City had eight in the first half and two in the second half.

Free throws (blue and pink in the chart) also stand out. Oklahoma City made 10 in the third quarter alone, all of them by Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Thabo Sefolosha (who got out in transition a couple of times to earn his trips). Miami didn't make more than five in any quarter, and sunk 10 total in the second half.

Also, holy smokes, there were a lot of missed two-pointers through three quarters for Miami! The Thunder struggled from downtown, but hit 35-60 inside the arc. That was a big factor in the win.

Let's see what holds up and what changes in Game 2.

For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Thunder, visit Welcome To Loud City.

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