HEAT 75 - Thunder 93 Game Recap
Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch Jr.
The Miami HEAT fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-75 Sunday afternoon at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Hassan Whiteside led the way for the HEAT with 13 points and six boards.
Impact Performance of the Night: Hassan Whiteside played pretty well against the Thunder on Sunday. Due to some foul trouble, Whiteside did most of his damage in the first half. He gave Miami plenty of second-chance opportunities and fought very hard on the glass against a talented Oklahoma City frontline. Whiteside also mixed it up with some tough hook shots and dunks in traffic. Defensively, Whiteside came away with three blocks, including one on Enes Kanter. Whiteside finished the game with 13 points and six boards (three on the offensive glass) to go along with those three blocks.
The Deciding Run: The Thunder went on an 11-2 run to take a 77-62 lead with 8:23 left in the game. Unfortunately, Oklahoma City would expand its lead.
Earlier, the HEAT went on a 16-11 run to cut the Thunder’s lead to 59-54 with about three and a half minutes left in the third quarter. Udonis Haslem made his presence felt throughout the run.
Play of the Game: With 10:33 to go in the second quarter, Goran Dragic grabbed the defensive rebound off a D.J. Augustin missed layup. He then showed his blazing speed and brought it down court. From there, Dragic absorbed contact from Steven Adams and finished the tough layup. Dragic hit the ensuing free throw to cut the Thunder’s lead to 25-24.
Another nice play came with 10:06 left in the first quarter when Dwyane Wade had the ball on the left wing by the three-point line. He then threw up a perfect lob to Hassan Whiteside, who finished the slam to put Miami up 8-3 early.
Efficiency Rating: Offensive Efficiency: 80.1; Defensive Efficiency: 98.2
Trend to Watch: Mario Chalmers provided solid scoring off the bench for Miami. Chalmers reached double-figures in points for the fifth time in his last eight games. He scored the majority of his points in the second half as the HEAT were trying to mount a comeback. While he didn’t shoot a high percentage, Chalmers stayed aggressive throughout the game. In all, Chalmers scored 12 points and had two steals.
The Takeaway: The HEAT hung in and fought hard throughout the afternoon. After falling behind by ten at halftime, Haslem and Chalmers played well in the third quarter to help close the gap. However, Oklahoma City made it tough for Miami and played really good defense all game. On the other end, Kanter had the hot hand and finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
Look for Miami to correct its mistakes as its road trip continues against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.