This game started off rough as Miami had 7 points in the first seven minutes and totaled only 40 points in the first half. That was hard to watch, especially after the two explosive offensive games the Heat played before this one. But Oklahoma City was equally ugly at times, and they played a close game for nearly the entire game.
But it was the Thunder who put together a string of good offensive in the fourth quarter to create enough of a gap to get the win. The Heat limited the Thunder much of the game, but couldn’t get key stops down the stretch. Miami had the game to a one possession deficit, but couldn’t stop OKC to have a chance to tie or take a lead. And Paul George’s steal and basket with 40 seconds left really finished it.
The Heat held the Thunder to 64 points in the first three quarters, but gave up 41 points in the fourth quarter.
The Heat lost the game 105-99 and drop to 39-34 on the season.
Miami was really punished in the paint by Steven Adams. He had 24 points and 12 rebounds (6 offensive). He gave the Thunder easy baskets even when Miami was doing a great job on the Thunder’s big trio.
Tyler Johnson started the game on Russell Westbrook and picked up two fouls before 1 minute was up. That took him out of rhythm in the first half. Miami was led by Goran Dragic with 20 points and James Johnson who had 23. Hassan Whiteside was again out and was missed. The Heat shot 39% for the game.
Miami had great play off the bench from Ellington, Olynyk and Winslow but couldn’t overcome difficult nights for Bam Adebayo (0 points) and Josh Richardson (4 points on 2-10 shooting). If Richardson would have had just a little better of a shooting night, the Heat would have been in much better shape.
Russell Westbrook started slow but ended up with a game high 29 points and had big plays down the stretch.
For Miami, they play the Indiana Pacers next who are 42-31 and it seems as though they won’t be able to catch them down the stretch. But a win in Indiana on Sunday would go a long way to help.