Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied past LeBron James’ Miami Heat to take a 1-0 lead in the 2012 NBA Finals.

US international Durant had 36 points and eight rebounds as the Thunder took the first game in the best-of-seven series 105-94 while James had 30 points and nine rebounds for the away side.

The Thunder trailed by seven points at half-time after some hot early shooting by Miami but turned things around with a 27-19 third quarter.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said: “We showed a lot of toughness in the second half, but we’ve just won one game. K.D. (Durant) is a terrific player but he’s special because he defends. In our huddles it’s all about defence.”

Of the Thunder’s slow start 23-year-old Durant said: “I guess being in The Finals we were kinda nervous (at the start) it took a little while to get the jitters out of us and settled down.”

James said after the game: “We had a good game plan to start the game but that third quarter really hurt us. They made shots and we missed shots. They made more plays, especially offensively.”

Durant was supported by 23-year-old point guard Russell Westbrook who scored 27  and had 11 assists and eight rebounds.

The two teams meet again in Oklahoma for Game 2 on Thursday before heading to Miami for three games. The final two games, if necessary, will be back in Oklahoma.

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