MIAMI (AP) — A week ago, they were leading the NBA Finals. And now, the Oklahoma City Thunder are heading home for the summer to ruminate over lessons doled out by the Miami Heat.

Favorites coming into the series, the Thunder fell in Game 5 of the finals Thursday night, as Miami finished off its run to a championship by beating the Thunder 121-106. Oklahoma City's 11-point win in Game 1 is long forgotten and irrelevant now, considering that for the first time in more than three years, the Thunder have lost four straight games.

At the absolute worst time, on the absolute biggest stage, no less.

"When you play against the best, you learn," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

Kevin Durant had 32 points and 11 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook finished with 19 points for the Thunder, though Westbrook's night — one game removed from a 20-for-32 performance from the field — came on a night where he shot 4 for 20. They came out with 4:44 left, the outcome long decided, the Heat fans going delirious.

James Harden scored 19 points and Derek Fisher added 11 for the Thunder.

Down 10 at the half, the Thunder cut the deficit in half by the time the third quarter was a minute old. It was the last gasp of the season — Miami put the game, and the title, away with a 34-13 burst that pushed the lead to 93-67 on a three-point play by Dwyane Wade with 1:23 left in that pivotal quarter.

Mike Miller connected on his sixth 3-pointer of the night, and Miami's 13th, on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Miller would soon add another, for good measure.

From that point, the clock wasn't ticking down time left in the game. It was ticking down the time left in Oklahoma City's season.

The Thunder came in saying they had to have that proverbial Game 7 — win or else — mentality.

Apparently, they chose else.

"You hate to go home and not win the whole thing. ... We lost to a team that played better than us in four of the five games," Brooks said.

Even though it was a five-point game after one quarter, a 10-point game at the half and still a two-possession game early in the third quarter, the Thunder simply did not have enough answers for the barrage that came from title-starved Miami.

Forget Miami's Big Three of Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. It was more like a Big Six for the Heat on this night. Two years of work, and a year of frustration after falling to Dallas in the title round a year ago, came pouring out of the Heat, comeuppance coming in bunches.

By the time the third quarter was over, Miami had six players in double figures. Oklahoma City? Just two.

And that was largely the downfall of Oklahoma City in this series. Durant was consistently great. Westbrook had more good moments than bad, by far. But the third option simply wasn't there, or at least, wasn't there often enough.

This Thunder team is built to contend for this title for a long time to come. Durant and Westbrook are already exceptional, and likely nowhere near their prime. Harden was the best sixth man in the league all season, though he struggled big-time in this series. Serge Ibaka is one of the best defenders in the league. The general manager, Sam Presti, is extremely well thought of in just about every league circle. And Oklahoma City has proven itself to be a city that loves its team.

More good things for the franchise are certain.

But a title — that wasn't happening, not yet anyway, not against a Heat team that spent a year preparing for this stage. Now, it's Oklahoma City's turn to take a finals loss and use it as motivation.

"You get here because you're good. You get here because you're committed to each other," Brooks said. "We definitely have room to improve. That's what the summers are for."

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  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    A detail of the Finals logo is seen on the video board outside the arena prior to the Miami Heat hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    The Heat Street Band performs in front of the American Airlines Arena before Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat takes the court during player introductions against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks to pass in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder runs up court against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder moves the ball in the post in the first quarter against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant pause between plays during the first half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat shooting guard Mike Miller looks to pass as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook defends during the first half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks in the first quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    A general view of action between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat fights for control of the opening tip-off against Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks in the first half against LeBron James #6 and Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat drivers for a shot attempt in the first half against Serge Ibaka #9 and Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder hangs on the rim after he dunked in the first half against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder attempts a shot against Mike Miller #13, LeBron James #6 and Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat and James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder fight for a loose ball in the first half of Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat drives past Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives for a shot attempt in the first half against Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James and the fallen Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat go for the ball before the tumbled James Harden and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    The ball eludes Mike Miller of the Miami Heat and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    A fan holds up a giant cardboard cutout of the Larry O'Brien Finals Championship trophy as the Miami Heat play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat is defended by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mike Miller of the Miami Heat attempts a shot in the first half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat is guarded by Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat attempts a shot in the first half against Nick Collison #4 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a dunk attempt in the firsthalf against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a shot attemt in the first half against the Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a shot attempt against Norris Cole of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Shane Battier of the Miami Heat and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder vie for the ball during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat is guarded by Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James goes to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka from Republic of Congo defends during the first half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder covers his face as he kneels on the court in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat pushes Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mike Miller #13 of the Miami Heat reacts after he made a 3-point basket in the fourth quarter against Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mike Miller of the Miami Heat is guarded by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat talk on court against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat goes to the basket against Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat react in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Fans watch game five of the 2012 NBA finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat at Havana Nines June 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat celebrate late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat celebrates after the Heat won 121-106 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat celebrates late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 121-106.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat celebrates late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 121-106.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on dejected late in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 and Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat celebrate late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder congratulates LeBron James of the Miami Heat after the Heat won 121-106 in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Juwan Howard #5 of the Miami Heat celebrates with LeBron James #6 late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Fans celebrate the Miami Heat's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals June 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh reacts after Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball seriesagainst the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 121-106 to become the 2012 NBA Champions

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 21: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates with the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy after they won 121-106 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)