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Game 4 Recap

3:00 AM EDT on June 20, 2012

When Derek Fisher thinks your flop was egregious, you win MVP.

I was going to write a re-cap of the game, but realizing it might end the way it did, I went with a real time diary. Here is what was going through my head as the Thunder blew a great season by (with the exception of Russell Westbrook) not playing like this was the most important game of their lives...which it definitely was.

1st Quarter:

Yay!

2nd Quarter:

Dammit!

3rd Quarter:

Man this is a fun game to watch. Nine lead changes. Both teams playing with ferocity....

Then the six minute mark hit and the referees took over. Phantom fouls. Flops rewarded. Just terrible to watch.

Fun Fact: Thunder GM Sam Presti was recently added to the NBA "Competition Committee" that is currently discussing changes to the rules that will hopefully discourage players from flopping. You think this game might influence how he approaches the issue?

4th Quarter:

* James Harden has been absolutely terrible since that amazing 1st half in Game 2. His missed lay up (that, to be fair should have been a "clear path violation" on Dwyane Wade after Wade intentionally fouled him at half court. This would have led to two free throws and the Thunder inbounding the ball--it was a no call naturally.)

* Mario Chalmers is taking over this game. The Thunder may want to consider guarding him.

*Russell Westbrook has scored 11 straight points for the Thunder. I doubt anyone is griping about his hero ball performance tonight.

* By the way, there isn't a player in the NBA who gets less respect from referees than Russ. He has one free throw attempt tonight despite going to the basket with reckless abandon. On most trips to the rim he is leveled and he rarely gets the call. Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade takes jumpers with no one in the vicinity and gets a trip to the line.

* Just as a type that, Wade gets upset about a no-call and then gets called for a foul on Westbrook. Russ ties the game by making them both. I can't believe I pulled off a successful reverse jinx.

* LeBron is down with a leg injury. Dean Blevins puts the percentage of likelihood that James is sitting on the bench after this timeout at -43%.

* The NBA being as rigged as it is, this timeout is lasting approximately 22 hours to give LeBron time to recover. If it took surgery to fix, this timeout would last until November.

* MIRACLES NEVER CEASE. James is still on the sideline. He will be back, though. He's a rebound short of a triple-double.

* After a Chalmers brick, LBJ heads to the scorer's table. While he watches, Durant gives OKC the lead on a pretty jumper. (94-92)

* James bangs home a three on one leg. Then Durant gets raped in the lane (no call). (97-94)

* With 2:18 to go, the Heat are on a 7-0 run and Scott Brooks calls a time out with his team down 5. Somewhere in the arena, Sam Presti is calling Jerry Sloan to see if he would coach this team for the $11 million that Brooks recently turned down.

* ANOTHER miss by Harden. His confidence is gone.

* Westbrook with another incredible lay-up. Probably got fouled by Battier. (99-96 Heat)

* Aiiiiiir baaall. (James and Thabo Sefolosha) Beautiful basketball as we head into the final minute.

* LeBron is limping to the bench with Juwan Howard helping him back. I'm skeptical that he's that hurt. It looks an awful lot like Jordan in the "flu game" and if anyone would have a shoe commercial on his mind in a moment like this, it's LeBron James.

* That said, he stays on the bench. So what do I know?

* Serge has to block that shot by Chalmers. (101-96, 44.6 seconds to play)

* Jeff Van Gundy wonders why Sefolosha is in the game when scoring is important. Welcome to my world JVG.

* Russ cashes in another great driving lay up. (101-98)

* WHAT THE HELL?????? James Harden tied up Haslem with 0.8 on the shot clock, then when they tipped the ball, there were 5 seconds on the shot clock. There's no way that Haslem and Harden battled for the ball for 4.2 seconds after the whistle. That's uber-sketchy.

* Chalmers makes two free throws after Westbrook fouls him for some reason. The Thunder now have no timeouts and no hope of winning this game. (103-98, 13.8 seconds to play)

* Durant air ball.

* No team has ever come back from 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Of course, the odds of beating Spurs after being down 2-0 was astronomically low.

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