Sunday night’s conference clash between the Thunder and Heat showed signs of a sluggish Sunday for both teams, but OKC was able to use a tremendous third quarter spurt to propel them to 99-74 victory over Miami.
Russell Westbrook recorded his second consecutive triple-double in the victory with 13 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, and the point guard had the help of his favorite Thunder Buddy. Kevin Durant tallied 24 points and 10 rebounds in only three quarters of play to help pace the fourth consecutive Thunder win.
There was a grind-it-out feel to the first half of the game, with the Heat failing to eclipse the 20-point mark in the first quarter while the score was only 44-42 at halftime. But it was the third quarter when things really started going, for the home team at least.
Midway through the third quarter, shooting guard Andre Roberson was able to make a couple of baskets which led the Heat to call a timeout, but Miami did anything but “heat” up during the break. It was the Thunder who regrouped nicely during the timeout, and Durant nailed a 3-point jumper on OKC’s first possession.
That Durant money ball must’ve been contagious to his teammates, because both Serge Ibaka and Westbrook drilled 3-pointers of their own on the next two Thunder possessions, and the Thunder were suddenly up 16 points in the blink of an eye.
In all, OKC outscored the Heat 31-16 in the third quarter, and Big Blue barely let their foot off the pedal in the fourth quarter where the Thunder outscored the Heat by eight points.
Ibaka had a strong second half and finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Dion Waiters had another solid game with 18 points off the bench. Enes Kanter totaled eight points and four rebounds in only 18 minutes of action. Stat of note: Westbrook out-assisted the entire Heat team with 15 compared to Miami's 12.
For Miami, Dwayne Wade was on fire early on and finished with 22 points, while fill-in starting point guard Tyler Johnson tallied 16 points and six rebounds. Chris Bosh was limited to only 12 points and four rebounds.
Oklahoma City will be off on Monday, but will be back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets.