Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder were in town for one of the most anticipated games of the season. Durant came into the game ON FIRE as he has been stringing 11 games in a row with 30 or more points, joining a very short list of Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant. The Heat, more specifically LeBron, were “supposed to” put an end to that streak. But he (and they) couldn’t. Kevin Durant’s arsenal of shots were impossible to stop as he finished with 33 points and extended his streak to 12 games in a row.
The Heat were on fire for about the first six minutes of the game. They took a 22 – 4 lead with about 4 minutes left in the 1st and from there it all fell apart. So what changed? A lot. The Thunder’s Center Kendrick Perkins was getting torched from the get by Chris Bosh. The mismatch was too obvious as the speedy and more versatile Bosh was doing as he pleased in the offensive end. When other Thunder defenders came to help, Bosh would just dish out and move the ball to the open man making the Miami offense run smoothly. But then Perkins went out and they brought in some shooters and lanky faster defenders, most notably Perry Jones. Then all of a sudden the pressure pushed Miami to turn the ball (19 times in total) which lead to Oklahoma to go on fast breaks, get easy baskets for Durant who then got in rhythm. All that started spelling disaster for Miami.
When the Heat doubled Durant, he would unselfishly pass the ball to the likes of Derek Fisher (yes he is still playing) who had 15 points, Jeremy Lamb, who couldn’t miss from behind the arc making all 5 of his shots taken. Serge Ibaka also stood out and had a total of 22 points. Although, it looked and felt as a one man show because of the hype surrounding Durant, the Thunder reminded us that their are a formidable team ready to compete with the best even while missing their second best player Russell Westbrook.
The Heat had Lebron James nullify Durant’s night as he scored 34 points on just 20 shots. Wade finally started and looked pretty good with 15 points while Bosh added 18 points. Outside the Miami’s big trio, the Heat didn’t have any more significant help in this game.
The Thunder improved to 37-10 while the Heat are now 32-13.
Oklahoma City: K. Durant 33 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl
MIAMI: L. James 34 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast
NEXT GAME: Saturday, the Heat @ the Knicks, Tip-Off at 8:30 PM