Thunder Routs Miami on the Road
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:16 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: Mar 16, 2011 8:53 PM CDTGrant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
MIAMI – It wouldn’t have mattered whether the unpredictable Heat played like the world champs or the worst team in the league.
On Wednesday night, Oklahoma City was not going to be denied.
The Thunder put together perhaps their best overall performance of the season, knocking off the Heat 96-85 on the road in Miami.
From the opening tip, the Thunder simply outplayed Miami and appeared to be the better team the entire night.
OKC led by six points after the first quarter and opened up a 13-point lead on a layup from Kevin Durant halfway through the second.
From that point, however, Miami showed some of its only signs of life with a 17-4 run to knot the score at 43.
Though the game was tight throughout most the third quarter, the Thunder paced their way back out to a 78-66 lead four minutes into the fourth and cruised from there.
The sign that the game was as good as over came with three minutes remaining, as the Heat’s frustrations boiled over into one dramatic moment.
Dwyane Wade missed a layup and wanted a foul call while the Thunder streaked the other way on a fast break.
As James Harden drained a 3 to boost OKC’s lead back to 10, Wade and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra committed simultaneous technical fouls in frustration.
OKC snapped an impressive three-game winning streak from Miami, who had previously knocked off the Lakers, Grizzlies and Spurs entering Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Thunder boosted their own winning streak to five games with a favorable schedule still in front of them.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 despite facing sturdy double teams the entire game.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points with five assists. Serge Ibaka had 12 rebounds and three blocks for OKC.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade had 21 points each and LeBron James added 19, but the trio combined to shoot 35 percent.
The Thunder outrebounded the Heat 51-40 and held Miami to 38.5 percent shooting as a team.
OKC will take its momentum back home to take on the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at Oklahoma City Arena.