MIAMI — They got an epic performance from Russell Westbrook. They ran out to a huge early lead. They watched LeBron James get carried off the court in the fourth quarter, and took the lead shortly after he departed.
Somehow, it still wasn’t enough for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And their hopes in these NBA Finals took a massive hit on Tuesday night.
Even after getting 43 points from Westbrook, 28 more from Kevin Durant and staking itself to a 17-point lead by the time the first quarter was over, Oklahoma City is now officially on the brink. James finished with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers each scored 25 points and the Miami Heat beat the Thunder 104-98 in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven title series.
“I can guarantee this,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We have fight in us.”
Game 5 is in Miami on Thursday night, where James and the Heat can capture the NBA title that they were assembled to get two years ago.
History says the Thunder are now in deep, deep trouble. No team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. No team has even forced a Game 7 when faced with that scenario.