HEAT 74 - Thunder 99 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch Jr.
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 99-74 Sunday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Dwyane Wade led the way for the HEAT with 22 points.

1. Birthday Boy Fares Well

On his 34th birthday, Wade had a solid outing against the Thunder. Throughout the first half, he displayed a lot of craftiness inside with shot-fakes to either finish plays or draw fouls. Perhaps his best finish, though, came in transition about midway through the second quarter.

To start the play, Hassan Whiteside covered a lot of ground and swatted Enes Kanter from behind. Luol Deng grabbed the loose ball, raced down court and passed it to Wade on his right cutting to the rim. From there, Wade went up, hung in the air with Serge Ibaka contesting and finished the excellent reverse layup.

View the Play

Wade led Miami with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the first half. While he did a majority of his damage in the paint, Wade also knocked down a few jumpers in the contest. The vet finished the game with 22 points, three assists and two boards.

2. Whiteside Strong Again

While he didn’t quite have a triple-double like he did on Friday night against the Nuggets, Whiteside still had a great game nonetheless. The big man not only did his usual damage around the rim with put-backs and finishes inside, but he also nailed three jumpers against Oklahoma City.

Check out this link for a slam after an offensive rebound and a turnaround jumper.

On the defensive end, Whiteside came up with four blocks and altered plenty of shots at the rim. He certainly made sure his presence was felt throughout. In all, Whiteside tallied 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 11 boards (three offensive) to go along with his four blocks.

3. Solid Defense in First Half

Miami held Oklahoma City to just 36.2 percent shooting in the first half and forced the team into nine turnovers. Deng was very active defensively, coming up with two quick steals and a block inside against Kanter in the first two quarters.

Unfortunately, the Thunder got hot in the third and went on a run to take control. Still, Miami continued to claw and fight in the fourth quarter thanks to great play by Whiteside and Tyler Johnson. Johnson had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists on the night.

Other Takeaways:

-The HEAT will return home to face the Bucks on Tuesday night at 7:30. After that, Miami will head back on the road for five games.

Game Notes:

-Gerald Green exited the game in the second quarter with knee tendinitis and did not return.

-Beno Udrih (neck), Jarnell Stokes (illness), Chris Andersen (knee), Goran Dragic (calf) and Josh McRoberts (knee) were out.

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