THE FACTS: LeBron James became the first NBA player to score at least 30 points in seven straight games heading into the All-Star Break since Wilt Chamberlain did it in the 1962-63 season and he led his Miami Heat teammates to a dominating 110-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat never trailed and led by as many as 23. Going back to last season's NBA Finals the Heat have beaten the Thunder in six straight games and this one was really close only at tipoff.
James finished with 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. He was 4-for-8 on 3-pointers many of those four coming at key moments in the game. Chris Bosh scored 20 on 10-for-14 shooting while also pulling down 12 rebounds. Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen each had 13.
The Thunder had just two players in double figures and it was the two you'd expect. Kevin Durant had a game high 40 points. He had a terrible first half shooting the ball (2-for-10) and a great second half (10-for-14). Durant almost single-handedly tried to rally the Thunder in the fourth quarter when he scored 22 points. Russell Westbrook added 26 points while handing out 10 assists. While Westbrook and Durant combined to score 66 points they also combined for 11 turnovers, six of those coming from Westbrook.
The Thunder bench managed just 16 points, nine from Kevin Martin and seven from Reggie Jackson.
Miami dominated the glass outrebounding Oklahoma City 46-35. 13 of those Heat boards came off the offensive glass. That has been a trouble spot for OKC in the past.
The Thunder outscored the Heat 31-22 in the fourth quarter to cut a 23-point deficit down to eight but Miami, and especially James, always seemed to hit the big shot just when it was needed the most.
QUOTABLE: "We kinda let our guard down there a little bit in the fourth quarter. But I was just trying to make plays for my teammates. We had a great game plan and went out and executed it."
THE STAT: Late in the third quarter Kendrick Perkins had more field goals (four) than Durant (three) that should tell you what kind of night it was for OKC. Durant got it going late but it was too late.
TURNING POINT: The Heat put it to the Thunder from the beginning with a huge first quarter then came out strong to start the second half to take away any realistic hope the Thunder might have had to come back. The Thunder trailed by 15 after the first quarter and they couldn't get the margin back into single digits until the clocked ticked under a minute to play. The Thunder tried to make a little run to close the first half but James went 4-for-4 (10 points) in the last 2:10 of the half to keep the Thunder down. OKC also made a run in the fourth quarter when Durant struck for 22 points.
QUOTABLE II: "They jumped on us early and we were playing uphill the rest of the way. We kept fighting but it was just too late. They doubled every screen and made us take bad shots. We're not as bad as what we played tonight, but I was anticipating a much better game."
-- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.
HOT: Miami started 9-for-16 (56.3 percent)...Bosh hit four of his first five shots and finished the first half 6-for-7 (12 points)...James was 7-for-11 (23 points), eight rebounds and four assists in the first half...Miami had 63 points in the first half the most given up by OKC in a first half this season...Durant was 8-for-10 in the fourth quarter.
NOT: The Thunder started the game just 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) and finished the first quarter at 31.6 percent...Durant was 0-for-4 in the first quarter and went on to miss his first seven shots before finishing the first half 2-for-10...Ibaka was 1-for-3 (two points) in the first half...OKC shot 33.3 percent (12-for-36) in the first 24 minutes and was 1-for-5 beyond the arc...Miami was 2-for-9 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
INSIDE THE ARENA: ESPN College GameDay co-host Kirk Herbstreit and Tampa Bay Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, a former University of Oklahoma All-American, were part of the 93rd straight sellout inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
GOOD MOVE: Spoelstra said before the game, "We have to play with a great sense of urgency and focus." His team responded by opening the game with stifling defense. OKC got off to its worst start this season shooting just 31.6 percent and trailing 32-17 after the first quarter. The 15-point deficit is the deepest hole the Thunder have been in after any first quarter this season.
BAD MOVE: Brooks was asked before the game if he would alter his lineup and go small tonight. He said he hadn't "thought one bit about that." Over the first eight minutes of the game though, Bosh had his way with Perkins going 4-for-5 and scoring eight points. The Thunder also gave up 10 paint points to the Heat over that same time.
NOTABLE: While James continued his streak of 30 point games his streak of games shooting 60 percent or better ended tonight. After missing a long three late in the game James finished at 58.3 percent...OKC is now 23-4 at home this season, three of those four losses have come against Eastern Conference teams.
UP NEXT: For the Heat, Feb. 20 @ Atlanta, Feb. 21 @ Chicago, Feb. 23 @ Philadelphia. For the Thunder, Feb. 20 @ Houston, Feb. 21 vs. Minnesota, Feb. 24 vs. Chicago.