Notebook: Heat 103, Thunder 97



Posted Dec 25, 2012 11:06 PM

By Zachary Paul, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

LeBron James scored 29 points to lead the Heat while guard Mario Chalmers finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Guard Dwyane Wade also had 21 points and five rebounds.

The Heat were able to outlast the Thunder despite 33 points from forward Kevin Durant, who missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that would have tied the game. It was the Heat's sixth straight victory against the Thunder, dating to last season.

The rematch of last year's NBA Finals was everything as expected, with both marquee players turning in solid performances. James also finished with nine assists and eight assists, falling just short of his second triple-double of the season.

James' biggest assist came when he found center Chris Bosh under the basket for an easy dunk that gave the Heat a three-point lead with 25.4 seconds remaining.

QUOTABLE: "Regardless of what our script is coming into the game when you play this team, it is not going to go according to script. They are too good. They make great players and keep on coming at you. At the end of the day, you just have to find a way. It wasn't our best fourth-quarter execution but we have been there enough now and it is just about making winning plays."
--Heat coach Erik Spolestra

THE STAT: The Heat held the Thunder to 42 percent shooting.

TURNING POINT: When Chalmers scored five straight points early in the fourth quarter, it allowed the Heat have some sort of breathing room. The seven-point lead was all the separation the Heat needed.

QUOTABLE II: "It was on line. To be honest, I practice those off-balance shots all the time, especially from that deep. It looked good."
-- Kevin Durant on missed 3-pointer near end of game

HOT: This was a game Chalmers needed. He had been struggling with his shot most of the season. After knocking down a few early shots, it did wonders for his confidence.

NOT: Russell Westbrook shot just 5-for-19 from the field. He was almost a non-factor and was outplayed by Chalmers. The Thunder likely win if Westbrook doesn't have a subpar game.

GOOD MOVE: The Heat did a solid job of taking advantage of what the Thunder gave them defensively. James and Wade were both able pass out of double teams to find the open Chalmers.

BAD MOVE: The early foul trouble hurt Durant. When he picked up his fourth near the end of the third quarter, it somewhat affected his aggression on the offensive end.

NOTABLE: Mike Miller surpassed 10,000 career points. He now has 10,005. James scored at least 20 points for the 25th straight time. The Heat improved to 14-2 at home. James committed his first foul after going the previous six game without one.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Wednesday @ Charlotte, Friday @ Detroit, Saturday @ Milwaukee. For the Thunder, Thursday vs. Dallas, Saturday @ Houston, Monday vs. Phoenix.