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NBA Finals Links: Heat Back In Charge Of Finals Against Thunder

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As Brian Windhorst points out today, the Miami Heat find themselves in a familiar position, up 2-1 in the NBA Finals with a chance to kill the will of their opponent, in this case the Oklahoma City Thunder. In Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks last year, the Heat appeared to rise to the occasion and have the Mavericks pushed to the brink.

With 10 minutes left in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals the Miami Heat walked to their bench up nine points in the game and 2-1 in the series with the Dallas Mavericks. In that moment, even though they were on the road playing against a veteran team and the series was technically far from over, it did appear as though the Heat were within sight of pulling it off and actually delivering a championship.

Going into that timeout, which Mavs coach Rick Carlisle called after the Heat completed a 10-1 run, turned out to be the last bit of euphoria the Heat would feel on the season. Frankly, they haven't felt a lot of it since, with the epic meltdown that followed casting a shadow over much of what they have accomplished this season.

This is also the point when the Heat were feeling a little to good about themselves, started show boating a bit too much and stirred up the proud Mavericks' vets to do something about it, which they did for the remainder of the series. We'll see what kind of pride the young Thunder can muster up on Tuesday night to avoid being pushed to the brink by the Heat.

Check out the links after the jump, including stories on the Finals, the NBA Draft and the Indiana Pacers.