Summer League Recap: Thunder 103, Heat 98
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By Melanie Curtsinger
July 11, 2014
ORLANDO -- July 11, 2014 was just not the Miami Heat’s day.
At 12:14 p.m., the Heat got the news they had been dreading: LeBron James was heading back home to Cleveland. Less than two hours later, many of the team’s coaches and front office personnel were back to business as usual when the team’s summer league squad took the court at the Amway Center for the final day’s 7th/8th place game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With the sting of James’ loss still fresh, the Heat were dealt another, albeit lesser, blow, falling 103-98 to Oklahoma City at the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League.
The Thunder used a strong shooting day to propel them to the win, hitting 63.5 percent of their shots (40-of-63), including 53.8 percent behind the 3-point arc.
“We were able to find the open man today and help teammates find their good shots,” said Josh Huestis, who poured in 17 points. “It led to our 25 assists and really helped us.”
Four OKC players registered at least 17 points, with Perry Jones and Mitch McGary leading the way with 20 and 18, respectively.
“I felt like I had fun out there,” Jones said. “A lot of things came to me in the flow of the offense.”
The Thunder led by 15 early after knocking down their first 11 attempts from the field, but Miami battled back and knotted the game at 80 heading into the final period of play. The Heat had several chances to tie or take the lead late in the game; with the team down one, 96-97, they missed seven of their final eight field goal attempts and turned the ball over once in their last nine possessions.
Andre Dawkins led Miami with 27 points, while Justin Hamilton added 20 in the losing effort.