Thunder Vs. Heat: Oklahoma City's Struggles From Free-Throw Line Help Miami Win

Free-throws should not decide any basketball game, especially in the NBA Finals, but they were a huge part of the Miami Heat's 91-85 victory Sunday over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Neither team was getting too many gift shots due to the officiating or anything else along those lines, but the rim just seemed to be bigger for Miami than it was for OKC.

That was unexpected, because Oklahoma City was the best team at shooting freebies during the regular season (80.6 percent). In Game 3, Oklahoma City made just 15 of its 24 attempts (62.5 percent) while Miami was able to close out the game by making 31-35 from the free-throw line. There's obviously a disparity in how many freebies each team shot, but the fact that Miami had quite a bit more success knocking its shots down was key the victory..

The worst part about the Thunder's struggles from the line is that it can't be blamed on any one player. Nobody was particularly awful: It was largely a group effort. That effort will need to change as the series goes on, because the Thunder could have been in a much better position to win if they simply converted a couple more of the gifts.

For more on the game, stick with our 2012 NBA Finals, Game 3 StoryStream. For more on the Heat, head over to Peninsula is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City and SB Nation Kansas City.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.