Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/19/14

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 27: NBA player, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder watches a game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 27, 2008 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Horned Frogs 35-10. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Miami finishes like a champ, OKC doesn't

When you're fighting a team that can match all your physical tools and even win a few of the matchups against you, you need to come up with some other way to win.  Usually, that "other" way is to capitalize on the other team's mistakes, while not making many of your own.

That's how the Heat beat the Thunder last night... by taking advantage of OKC's miscues, of which there were too many at the wrong time.  James Harden's brain took a few minutes off in the fourth (prompting this Ron Artest tweet) which helped the Heat fend off the Thunder's comeback as much as anything at that point.  Then Thabo Sefolosha's turnover on an inbound play cost the Thunder their last desperate chance at tying the game.

To over-simplify, the Thunder looked a whole lot like a team that is making its first NBA Finals appearance while the Heat looked like a team that learned from past missteps.  When the SuperFriends were assembled in Miami, the popular thought was immediate dividends.  The more reasonable thought was that it would take a year for these guys to figure it out.

Well, they're figuring it out.  

2: About that Thunder youth

It's hard to remember that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are 23, and that James Harden is 22.  It's hard to remember that these guys haven't been here before.  And no matter how much 37 year-old 5-time champion Derek Fisher tells them about the experience, this is something they'll just have to experience. 

Russell Westbrook doesn't always take the best shots.  James Harden sometimes looks a little overwhelmed.  Kevin Durant is fouling like mad.  These are all things that can change with time and experience. 

Dwyane Wade is 30 and he's won a title.  Chris Bosh is 28 and this is his second trip to the Finals.  LeBron James is 27 and he's made a few trips of his own.  Talent is one thing, experience can help that talent do great things.  Even though Dwyane Wade, by most accounts, has had a pretty bad playoff run, his experience allows him to come through when it matters.

Harden, for all his great play, hasn't felt the pressure of finality quite like this before.  None of these guys have.  Perhaps they're quick learners and they'll figure out a way to get past it in Game 4, but right now they look like they're feeling the pressure. 


Thabo Sefolosha picks Wade clean and then the great finish


Did Russell Westbrook ask Rajon Rondo for permission to use this move? 

Wade with the pretty reverse finish

4:  Line of the Night:  LeBron James - 29 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists

LeBron is closing these games out.  What more can you say?  He's finishing.  He's doing MVP things. 

5:  You can quote me on that

I try not to concern myself with the officiating.  They're going to make their calls, and there's nothing we can do about it.  We can't change it.  Just got to play through it.  There's going to be some calls they may miss.  They're human.  There's going to be some calls that they get right.  Just got to play through it.
     -Kevin Durant

I told you guys, last year I didn't make enough game‑changing plays, and that's what I kind of pride myself on.  I didn't do that last year in The Finals.  I'm just trying to make game‑changing plays, and whatever it takes for our team to win, just trying to step up in key moments and be there for my teammates. 
     -LeBron James



Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Cardinals Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet


Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.