George was on another level at the AmericanAirlines Arena, knocking down a career-high 10 three-pointers en route to a dominant 43 points, five assists and seven rebounds to lead the Thunder to their seventh straight victory. He was in perfect form to start the game, scoring 16 points in the first quarter
Eventually the Heat were able to scrap together a nice run in the second quarter to pull within five points, but as if it wasn’t going to be difficult enough to worry about George and Russell Westbrook, who notched a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists — eight of them in the first quarter, the Thunder really got going when Dennis Schroder got in on the fun and exploded for 24 points in the second quarter on a perfect 9-9 shooting from the field.
For the Heat to have any chance to counter the Thunder’s big guns, they were going to need at least two players to have breakout games but there was little else to cheer about other than Kelly Olynyk’s season-high 21 points off the bench. He was efficient from the outside, going 4-6 from beyond the arc, but also showcasing some nifty moves closer to the basket for high percentage shots.
Heat fans also had this to cheer about — even if it didn’t count:
Josh Richardson scored 18 points, but also attempted 18 shots, and Hassan Whiteside pulled in 16 rebounds to go along with 12 points in 20 minutes. But it wasn’t nearly enough to have much effect when the opponent has already scored 72 points by halftime and the team is struggling enough as it is to put away lottery teams.
Miami couldn’t get closer than 15 points in the final quarter in an outcome that had long ago been decided, falling to a disappointing 11-15 at the AA Arena for the season. The loss drops them to the eighth and final East playoff spot and a half game behind the Charlotte Hornets in the Southeast Division.
The Heat next host the Indiana Pacers tomorrow at 7:30pm.