Oklahoma take Heat out of Miami in opening NBA Finals clash
June 13, 2012 -- Updated 0856 GMT (1656 HKT)
Oklahoma's Kevin Durant slams in two points on his way to a 36-point haul in Game 1 of the NBA Finals series.
- Oklahoma City Thunder win first game of the 2012 NBA Finals against Miami Heat
- Kevin Durant is game's top scorer in Oklahoma's 105-94 win over the Heat
- LeBron James manages 30 points for the Heat, last year's beaten finalists
- Oklahoma face Miami on their home court in Game 2 on Thursday
(CNN) -- Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were instrumental as Oklahoma City Thunder won the first game of the 2012 NBA Finals.
Durant was the game's top scorer with 36 points, while Westbrook notched 27, as the Thunder beat Miami Heat 105-94 in the best-of-seven series.
Three-time MVP LeBron James managed 30 points for the Heat, who lost out on last year's NBA crown to the Dallas Mavericks. James' battle with Durant is seen by most commentators as key to the direction of this year's series.
But it didn't start well for Oklahoma.
They had to overcome a 13-point deficit early on in the game, thanks mainly to a 13-point first-half haul from Shaun Battier. The Heat also nailed five 3-pointers in the opening quarter, a franchise record for the opening period of a playoff game.
LeBron James: Gonna give it my all
NBA superstars calm before the storm
However Durant, making his first appearance in the NBA showpiece, led Thunder's fightback with an impressive performance that culminated in 17 points in the final quarter.
"I am just playing off my teammates and not trying to force anything," Durant told reporters after the game, in quotes carried by Agence France-Presse. "Everybody came to play and we stuck together."
His coach, Scott Brooks, was equally effusive about the team's spirit and togetherness. "We showed a lot of toughness in the second half," he said. "Really battling and fighting for every possession. I give our guys a lot of credit. They did a great job of competing in the second half."
Brooks' opposite number refused to panic after Miami's opening setback. "We are a confident team and it is a long series," said Erik Spoelstra, in quotes carried by AFP.
"This group has resolve. Sometimes we have to grind it out but we have the toughness to be able to bounce back."
Game two tips off on Thursday in Oklahoma City.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1138 GMT (1938 HKT)
Click through our gallery of the most dramatic moments from the world of sport.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1606 GMT (0006 HKT)
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0404 GMT (1204 HKT)
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT)
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1308 GMT (2108 HKT)
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.