In a replay of the previous three games, game four of the NBA finals was once again a close one. The Thunder jumped out to a quick lead, leading the Heat by 10 (15 – 5) only 6 minutes in, and 14 (33 – 19) by the end of the first quarter. But the Heat recovered early in the second quarter, equalizing the score (35 – 35) only 4 minutes in, and remained hot on the Thunder’s heels for the rest of the half, managing to only trail by three (49-46) at half time.
The second half began slowly, with Miami taking the lead 1-minute in (49-50), but losing it just as quickly. The rest of the quarter passed in tit-for-tat fashion, with neither team managing to extend leaders greater than seven points. Miami closed out the third quarter with a four-point lead (75-79). One minute into the third quarter the Thunder narrowed the deficit to just two, and two minutes in Harden missed a layup to take them up by one. Three minutes into the quarter Chalmers knocked down a three to put Miami up by 6 (79-85), and Wade extended the lead to 7 (83-90) with a three pointer a few minutes later. One minute later, Westbrook tied the game with two clutch free throws, and a scary situation erupted when James fell down driving for the basket. James stayed down for a while, barely able to limp down the court, and after a fortunate bucket for James (due to an inability to run, he was still under the Thunders hoop when a turnover occurred) the trainers were called onto the court and James was treated with ice, stretching and sports drinks before being carried to the bench by his team mates.
With four minutes left in the game, Durant hit a beautiful jumper to put the Thunder up by 2 (94 – 92), and James checked back into the game. A minute later Bosh hit an incredible layup again tie the game (94-94). This was followed almost immediately by an amazing three pointer by James to put the Heat up by 3 (94-97), and a beautiful scoop layup by Wade to increase the lead to 5 (94-99). With 1:30 left to play, Westbrook once again made a magical layup (96-99), and, following a time out, James checked out of the game for the last time. Chalmers and Westbrook had duelling layups to leave the score at 98-101 with thirty seconds to play and (following a stupid foul and a jump ball) the game was over.
Westbrook absolutely dominated on the offensive side with 43 points, a playoff high for him. However, the Thunder were no match for the Heat on a night when Dwayne Wade was absolutely dominating on the defensive end, Mario Chalmers scored more points than in the previous three games combined, Bosh was challenged Serge Ibaka, and despite a health scare, James was his usual self for most of the game. Miami now leads the series 3 -1, with a possibility of claiming the championship on their home court on Thursday.