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Recap: Thunder throttle Heat 106-94

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Despite a few solid scoring runs by Miami, the Thunder were able maintain control throughout the entire game

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami got into a rhythm early with Justise Winslow drawing first blood. They would follow that play up with a defensive stop and a Josh Richardson jumper. The Heat were great defensively to start forcing OKC to take some terrible shots (they shot 1-7 in the opening minutes) and make basic offensive mistakes.

The Heat were also firing on all cylinders offensively as they shot very well from the midrange, and made the most of opportunities in the paint.

Unfortunately Miami’s strong opening defense wouldn’t last, as midway through the quarter (mostly because of Westbrook’s court vision) OKC began to feast on a buffet of layups and dunks stealing the lead from Miami.

As the quarter wined down Miami’s lack of Goran Dragić was felt as offensive production fell off completely. The Heat’s many mistakes on the offensive end and suffered yet another scoring drought. On the other end, OKC entered a scoring rhythm and didn’t stop going on an 13-1 run, ending the quarter in complete control of the game.

The Heat started the second quarter nicely thanks to some great offensive play by Josh Richardson. While Miami would spend most of the quarter attempting to chip away at the lead, the Thunder continued to build on their strong offensive play thanks to Westbrook’s otherworldly play. The Heat once again struggled to score midway through the second as the Thunder cruised.

It was actually embarrassing how effortless it was for the Thunder to shred the Miami defense and they just seemed unstoppable. It also didn’t help that Hassan Whiteside was virtually nonexistent for the Heat the entire half. Miami would piece together a small run on offense to end the first half, and head into the third quarter down 13.

The Heat were better in the third quarter, scoring on some solid looks by Josh Richardson and Derrick Williams. Hassan Whiteside would exit early with his fourth foul allowing Willie Reed to showcase his footwork and scoring ability. Once again the Heat would attempt to chip away at the OKC lead, but this time it seemed a little bit too late. Nevertheless as the Heat entered the final quarter, there was still a glimmer of hope.

Whiteside was back for the fourth quarter, but continued to be ineffective. Luckily, the Heat reserves managed to carry the brunt of the scoring as James Johnson and Tyler Johnson connected on some tough looks to spark a short run. Tyler Johnson would later injure his shooting hand on the backboard after a block attempt, but stay in the game. Miami had a solid scoring stretch in the latter half of the fourth quarter to bring Miami within eleven, but it wasn’t enough. Oklahoma City would never relinquish their cobra like vice on this game and win 106-94.

Game Notes:

  • Miami can’t do much on offense without Goran Dragić, his absence was felt in all aspects of the game. If he’s traded games like this will be commonplace for the Heat.
  • Josh Richardson was great tonight in an increased role, hopefully he’s completely out of his slump.
  • James Johnson was also great for the Heat as he sparked Miami out of multiple scoring droughts.
  • Hassan Whiteside was awful. It almost seemed as if he just didn’t bother to show up mentally or maybe had a run in with the Monstars on the way to the AAA.
  • Russell Westbrook is what happens if you put all the 2k sliders on 100 and let the computer simulate the game.