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The latest game provided a look at the best of what both teams have: James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all making big plays in the fourth quarter; Sixth Man of the Year James Harden coming off the Thunder bench to keep them in it while Durant sat with foul trouble; Russell Westbrook turning from sloppy to sensational as the game went along.
So what's next?
"It's a long series. After Game 1 there was the hyperbole of, `The Heat have no idea what to do with the speed of OKC.' I have no idea what the story lines will be after Game 2," Miami forward Shane Battier said. "We know every game is its own beast. You just have to play disciplined and tough to win a single game in the finals."
Battier has provided surprising offense with 17 points in each game while also taking his turns defending Durant. But it's James who will likely have that role during the important stretches, such as the crucial moment of Game 2.
Durant expects to score no matter who his guarding him. The problem, he said, is the Thunder aren't paying enough attention to the other end of the floor.
"I've got to make shots for my team. But I think on the defensive end, we all have to be better, and we can't really worry about the offensive end," he said. "We missed shots, but we can't let it dictate our defense. But I've got to stay positive, keep working, and we're looking forward to a Game 3."
The Heat's last finals game on their home floor ended with Dallas celebrating a championship after Game 6 last year. They can be the ones partying this time if they take care of all three in Miami.
For now, the Heat are only worried about the first one.
"We've got to figure out a way at home to protect home floor, especially in Game 3, and win it," Wade said. "If you go up there and lose Game 3, you've given them, in a sense, home court right back. We just want to continue to play well at home like we've done all season long."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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