The Heat opened the game with an 18 point lead, running out with a 23-5 start. But by halftime, that was cut to 2. Miami had a good balanced attack throughout most of the game, and led for the entire first half. It wasn’t until the Thunder tied the game at 65 that it wasn’t a Heat advantage, and then later in the fourth they Thunder really just started to pull away.
The Thunder ran past the Heat 39-12 in the 4th quarter. Yes, you read that right.
Miami carried a 4 point lead into the closing quarter, and then just absolutely collapsed in front of our eyes.
It really is a disappointing loss for the Heat because they had so much control in the game. But timely shots and tough makes over good defense from Paul George and Russell Westbrook, who notched another triple-double, made the difference. The Heat went cold in the fourth quarter and trailed by as many as 22 points, the final score.
It was a rough night for Goran Dragic, who played 30 minutes and had 4 points on 2-10 shooting. Dwyane Wade struggled as well with 6 points on the same 2-10 shooting. Some staggering numbers that reveal where the struggle was as well: the Heat were 5-22 from downtown and shot only 14 free throws despite scoring 50+ points in the paint. The Thunder shot 37 free throws in comparison.
Westbrook had 23 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. Paul George had 27 points as well. The Heat were led 18 from Josh Richardson and 16 from Hassan Whiteside. But the win by committee was not enough in this one.
The Thunder won the game 115-93.
The Thunder clinched a playoff berth with the win, and the Heat didn’t secure anything. In fact, their loss, coupled with a Milwaukee Bucks win moves the Heat from 6th to 7th place in the East. Miami is now 43-38 on the season.
Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is yet to be determined. The Heat will have 1 game remaining, Wednesday against the Raptors and can still finish anywhere from 6th to 8th.
Miami has lost 3 of it’s last 5 with the two wins coming against the Atlanta Hawks.