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Thunder 112 - HEAT 95 Game Recap and Infographic

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(Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon)

 

The Miami HEAT fell 112-95 to the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The loss is Miami's first regular season loss to Oklahoma City since the 2012 season.

 

Impact Performance of the Night: Kevin Durant has been on a roll for all of January and tonight was no exception. He finished with 33 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the Thunder’s win over the HEAT. Durant hit a number of difficult shots where there was nothing more HEAT defenders can do. His jumper is released from such a high point that LeBron James and Shane Battier’s contests were futile. Durant also was a strong facilitator, attacking the HEAT defense and drawing attention, only to kick it out to an open teammate. In a run that has been unmatched by any player this season, Durant delivered another signature performance.

 

The Deciding Run: The Thunder went small, matching up with the HEAT, with 7:24 left, the HEAT held a 15-2 lead. Over the next 41 minutes, the Thunder outscored the HEAT 110-76. Any time the HEAT looked to mount a run, the Thunder countered. Big shot after big shot from the Thunder kept the HEAT at arm’s length. Big threes by Kevin Durant and Derek Fisher at the end of the third quarter started what was the final surge from Oklahoma City. Miami was just never able to make things interesting once the Thunder got in their groove.

 

Play of the Game: Kevin Durant has the ability to hit a jumper over any player. His height and reach gives him a natural advantage that is very difficult to compete with. In the third quarter, the HEAT hit a few jumpers to get the deficit to just 11 points. Miami was playing better defense and it looked like a run might be coming after LeBron James hit a long jumper. Durant had other ideas. He came down the floor and hit a very deep three over James on the right wing. James was in the right position, forced the tough shot, and it didn’t matter. The three pushed the Thunder lead to 14 and the HEAT never got it back to 11 again.

 

Efficiency Rating: Offensive Efficiency: 102.5; Defensive Efficiency: 120.0

 

Trend to Watch: Turnover issues have popped up for the HEAT at various points this season and we saw them again tonight. Miami finished with 21 turnovers, tying a season high, that led directly to 25 points. The Thunder tallied 13 steals, which is the third highest total against the HEAT season. Oklahoma City clogged the passing lanes with their length, closing windows of opportunity faster than any opponent in the last few weeks. Thabo Sefolosha got six steals himself, constantly digging at driving HEAT players and poking the ball free. Few teams have the personnel like the Thunder. It’s a unique challenge that the HEAT don’t often face because they’re one of the few teams that can match that athleticism. Miami’s ball security will get better, it always does, but tonight’s performance will stick with the HEAT. The Thunder are a championship contender that that HEAT may very well face in June. They’ll need to be ready for the different looks the Thunder are capable of.

 

The Takeaway: Games like tonight just happen. The Thunder forced the HEAT into a season high turnover count. The Thunder set their season high in three-point makes with 16, in just 27 tries. All of this happened as the HEAT tied their season low on three-point makes at three. For much of the night, it seemed as though outside forces were working against the HEAT. There are lessons to be learned, of course, but much of what we saw was an aberration. The HEAT need to cut down on turnovers and shoot better from three, but that will happen on it’s own because tonight’s performance was so extreme. The next time they play the Thunder they’ll need to do a better job of defending the three-point line, but that will happen on its own because a shooting night like the Thunder had is very unlikely to be repeated. In this space we’ve talked about games that you just set aside and forget about. This is probably one of those games. There were a lot of extremes on the floor, and when that happens, there isn’t much to take from a game.

 

Notes: LeBron James finished with 34 points, three rebounds and three assists. Chris Bosh added 18 points and nine rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 15 points. James Jones and Roger Mason, Jr. were inactive.

 

Infographic:

 

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Alright now, we know it's regular season game and at least we didn't lose to scrubs right. LeBron is still better because regular season is worthless to him. he doesn't need to prove anything. look at that face. he just put up 34 points. Now i'm not going to details about this but as i say, it's far from over. the mvp award is still on LeBron's reach. what durant did in january, LeBron could do ten fold better in february and even march and april. That's couple more months. one month were kd i have to say was insane by his standards, but LeBron could do this playing a little bit more to what his actual standard is. don't get scared about this phenomena. look around the league. it doesn't mean thunders all sudden is better. they've just been playing through some adversity and through some continuity but this will not be the championship formula. The HEAT proved both. time to move on to the next!

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they did this much damage without Westbrook and they might be smart enough to counter us with small ball of their own if we meet in the Finals again which is a scary thought. Their version of "small ball" is scary, they're a more athletic version of us which negates our advantage and it really causes problems on both ends which I think we saw tonight. 

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they did this much damage without Westbrook and they might be smart enough to counter us with small ball of their own if we meet in the Finals again which is a scary thought. Their version of "small ball" is scary, they're a more athletic version of us which negates our advantage and it really causes problems on both ends which I think we saw tonight. 

 

Yes it is scary, remember the Indiana game also last month that Durant and the rest of the gang destroyed them by 24.

 

Pacers - 94

OKC - 118

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Once Brooks finally took out Perkins we got destroyed. I dont know whats wrong with this team, and I really dont know if its fixable. I hate to say it but I'm not feeling good about our chances this year. We needed Wade to be healthy this year, and its looking more and more likes his body is just done. To make matters worse our team doesn't look like it can play its blitzing style of defense anymore because of too many miles on their bodies. I think some adjustments need to be made, mainly Bosh becoming 2nd option, Wade being moved to 6th man, and changing the defensive scheme by playing with another big more often and trapping less and less on the pick& roll. I doubt Spo does it though simply because hes stubborn.

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^ wades not 6th man honestly wade looked fine he had so many looks at the rim and passed to the shooters and they couldnt knock em down but its not excuse that derrick fisher outplayed him !

i do agree but scott brooks didnt really do anything different though he always goes small against the heat and it worked out this time, ussually it doesnt though but it might start to due to the heats age. however this game was lost on dumb turnovers time and time again

but i agree the heat need to implement more of a man to man or chicago style D which is done when Oden is playing but i think even when birdman is in the same should be doen 

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OKC bench outscored our HEAT bench... That's pretty much the game story... Media again goes on ranting about the KD vs. LBJ thing, of course that's what sells.... 

We're not gonna win games with the bench (mainly Ray Ray, NoCo n B-Easy) being a non-factor... Hope that they'll put up a better game next time.... 

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Guest magicmike

What I noticed most out of this was KD's maturity, poise when down 22-4, and the leadership to make his teammates better.  He gave them all a lot of confidence.

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MIAMI committed season highs in turnovers and shot a season low from three land. The Thunder shot a franchise best 19 of 27 from downtown, while turning MIAMI's miscues into 25 points. I'm not going to get into bench contributions, but that's a recipe for a guaranteed loss. MIAMI will bounce back, up next, the Knicks...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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Thought we did a god job on Kd first half but in to the second half we did not keep up the defensive pace on him, KD went on great shooting performance plus a well playing thunder team combined with a less offensive efficiency for most turnovers and some drought scoring sequence we got outscored by a big margin, that’s is pretty much the story of this game…

 

But still a good game we saw last night and good things we can hold/built on and be better in other areas as we moving forward….. Keep working up Heat.

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^ wades not 6th man honestly wade looked fine he had so many looks at the rim and passed to the shooters and they couldnt knock em down but its not excuse that derrick fisher outplayed him !

i do agree but scott brooks didnt really do anything different though he always goes small against the heat and it worked out this time, ussually it doesnt though but it might start to due to the heats age. however this game was lost on dumb turnovers time and time again

but i agree the heat need to implement more of a man to man or chicago style D which is done when Oden is playing but i think even when birdman is in the same should be doen 

 

Yeah, I sometimes get frustrated when Wade gets all the way to the rim only to pass out to a dry teammate for a bricked 20-footer. I'm like "just lay it in, damn". It's like he's too unselfish sometimes. I also think it's possible that him not getting calls anymore is getting in his head, and it causes him to second guess himself when attacking the basket.

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