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Thunder Looks For Fourth Consecutive Win Tuesday Night Against Heat

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One of the hottest teams in the NBA will be back in action tonight when the Thunder hit South Beach for a 6:30 matchup against the Miami Heat. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2012 Finals rematch:

Related: Westbrook Has 31 points, Thunder Beat Timberwolves 112-100

Thunder is rolling

Following two brutal road losses to the Trailblazers and Jazz, the Thunder has won four out of five games and can make it four consecutive victories against the Heat. OKC’s only loss came at home to the Hawks, a game the Thunder should’ve won after the league ruled that Russell Westbrook was fouled shooting a 3-pointer in the final seconds as OKC went on to lose by two points.  

Led by Westbrook’s ferocious mentality, the Thunder is hitting on all cylinders and truly developing an identity. With two important matchups with the Grizzlies and Clippers looming before the end of the month, it’s important that OKC takes care of business against a struggling Heat team.

Second unit thriving

Along with Westbrook’s relentless style of play, the main reason for OKC’s recent success is the play of the second unit.

Throughout much of the early part of the season the Thunder struggled to get much going on offense while Westbrook rested on the bench, but things have changed over the last couple of weeks. Role players such as Alex Abrines, Jerami Grant and Joffrey Lauvergne are becoming more and more comfortable while the unit is working through big man Enes Kanter.

While he’s shooting an efficient 63-percent from the field over the last five games, Kanter’s also passing better than he ever has throughout his career. The Pelicans, Celtics and Timberwolves all tried doubling Kanter throughout portions of their matchup, but Kanter is finding an open teammate and providing points when the Thunder need them most.

Both teams missing key players

While the Thunder has been without guard Victor Oladipo for the past seven games and will be without him again on Tuesday night, the Heat will also be without a key player. Former Thunder guard and current Heat playmaker, Dion Waiters, is out of the lineup with a groin injury.

Waiters is averaging 14.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game this season but has been out for the past month.  

It’s also worth noting that Miami’s leading scorer, Goran Dragic, is questionable to play with back spasms. 

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