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Miami Heat Game Six Preview: Hosting the Thunder

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The Heat look to get back to .500 against the invading Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.

NBA: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 7:30 PM ET, the Miami Heat will host the Oklahoma City Thunder at a nearly empty AmericanAirlines Arena, in Miami, Florida.

The Heat have started the season by alternating losses and wins. They dropped to the Orlando Magic by a 113-107 score in the season opener, then defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 111-98 on Christmas. They followed that with a two-game split against the Milwaukee Bucks, losing 144-97 and winning 119-108.

In Miami’s most recent game, they dropped a 93-83 decision to the Dallas Mavericks. Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks. Avery Bradley pitched in with 15 off the bench, and Precious Achiuwa scored 10 with six boards in under 12 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Heat couldn’t find their shooting rhythm until later in the game. They didn’t hit their first three-pointer until midway through the third quarter. All-Star Jimmy Butler finished with two points after going 0-for-6 from the field.

They got hot and we didn’t - Adebayo as quoted by Anthony Chiang in the Miami Herald

The Thunder have also started their season with a mark of 2-3. They opened the season with a two-point road victory against the Charlotte Hornets, then lost three home games to the Utah Jazz, the Orlando Magic, and the New Orleans Pelicans. Once on the road again on Saturday, they defeated the Magic.

Oklahoma City will be playing in the second game of a five-game road trip tonight versus the Heat, and they’ll go on to visit the Pelicans, the New York Knicks, and the Brooklyn Nets.

In Saturday’s game, the Thunder topped the Magic by a 108-99 final score. Darius Bazley led six OKC players in double figures, with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16 with five rebounds and seven assists.

Orlando is a good team that makes you play a clean game to win and I was pleased with how we did that. - Thunder coach Mark Daigneault as quoted by John Denton, AP

The Heat and the Thunder last played each other on August 12, with Miami dropping by a 116-115 final. Tyler Herro led all players with 30 points, adding six rebounds.

All Time Head-to-Head

In 64 games between the Heat and Thunder all time, Miami has posted a 24-40 record. The resulting .375 winning percentage is their third worst winning percentage against any team, better than only their records versus the Portland Trail Blazers (23-40) and the San Antonio Spurs (21-44).

Standings

Miami Heat: 2-3, .400, on pace for 29-43. Third in the Southeast Division, 10th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 18th in the NBA. Last five: L-W-L-W-L. Playoff Odds: 81 percent

Oklahoma City Thunder: 2-3, .400, on pace for 29-43. Third in the Northwest Division, tied for ninth in the Western Conference, tied for 18th in the NBA. Last five: W-L-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 4 percent

Around the NBA

Last Night

Utah Jazz 130, San Antonio Spurs 109
Denver Nuggets 124, Minnesota Timberwolves 109
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Memphis Grizzlies 94
Washington Wizards 123, Brooklyn Nets 122
Boston Celtics 122, Detroit Pistons 120
Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns
Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks

Other games today

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic
Charlotte Hornets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets
Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors

Combined Team Leaders (per 36 minutes)

Points: Goran Dragić - 23.2, George Hill - 21.7, Bam Adebayo - 21.4

Rebounds: Hamidou Diallo - 10.7, Isaiah Roby - 10.2, Precious Achiuwa - 10.1

Assists: Goran Dragić - 7.9, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - 7.3, Jimmy Butler - 6.4

Steals: Jimmy Butler - 4.6, Aleksej Pokusevski - 2.3, Kelly Olynyk - 2.1

Blocks: Aleksej Pokusevski - 2.3, Kelly Olynyk - 1.8, Isaiah Roby - 1.6

Injury Report

Miami Heat: Gabe Vincent remains day-to-day with a right knee injury.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Trevor Ariza is out due to personal issues, Ty Jerome is day-to-day with a left ankle problem, and Aleksej Pokusevski recently suffered a concussion.

Odds

The Heat is currently favored by eight, with the over/under set at 213.

Gametime

Tipoff is set for 7:30PM ET, and will be available on League Pass, FSSUN and FSOK. Radio broadcasts will be supplied by WAXY/WAQI and WWLS.

Probable Starting Lineup (by ESPN.com)

Miami Heat

PG - Tyler Herro
SG - Duncan Robinson
SF - Jimmy Butler
PF - Andre Igoudala
C - Bam Adebayo

Oklahoma City Thunder

PG - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG - George Hill
SF - Luguentz Dort
PF - Darius Bazley
C - Al Horford

Franchise leaderboard check

Minutes: If Bam Adebayo plays 39 minutes, he’ll pass Billy Thompson into 29th all-time. Kelly Olynyk needs seven minutes to be the 37th Heat player with 5,000 or more.

Three-pointers: Tyler Herro will pass Bruce Bowen and Jason Kapono into 42nd with five. Kendrick Nunn needs three to pass Chris Quinn into 39th. With six, Duncan Robinson will become the 15th Heat player to hit at least 300.

Free Throws: Jimmy Butler’s next free throw will move him into 25th with 446, passing Tyler Johnson. Kelly Olynyk will pass Harold Miner into 30th with six, which would give him 382.

Rebounds: Kelly Olynyk will tie Dan Majerle with seven, which would give them both 1137.

Assists: Bam Adebayo will tie Chris Bosh in 22nd with five assists, giving him 680.

Steals: Jimmy Butler’s next steal will tie him with Gary Payton in 47th, with 114. Bam Adebayo’s next steal will tie him with Jason Williams in 28th, with 194.

Blocks: Goran Dragić’s next block will give him 64, tying him with Bruce Bowen in 46th. Bam Adebayo’s next block will tie him with Chris Andersen in 14th, with 205.

Points: Kelly Olynyk needs 11 points to tie Willie Burton in 28th, with 2,252.

Today’s Trivia Question

The Heat have had two players hail originally from the state of South Dakota. Can you name either of these three-point specialists without peeking?