HEAT 99 - Thunder 105 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-99 Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. James Johnson led the way for the HEAT with 23 points.

1. JJ Goes Off In The Fourth

Although JJ had a quick start to the game, he really emptied the tank in the fourth and did all he could to try and will Miami to victory.

With the HEAT playing small, Johnson played the five and took advantage in the pick-and-roll with Steven Adams playing it aggressively. In fact, the Wake Forest product scored 14 points in fourth, including this massive jam with contact:

In addition to his team-high 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting, Johnson also had four rebounds and two assists.

2. Dragić Changes Things In The Third

After a slow first half for both teams offensively, Goran Dragić set the tone with a monster third quarter to help the HEAT take a narrow lead into the fourth.

All told, Dragić scored 13 points in the third thanks to some shots from the perimeter and this nice ball-fake and spin in the paint against Adams:

Nifty.

The Dragon finished with 20 points, five assists and four rebounds.

3. Ellingon Keeps Up Hot Shooting

Simply put, Wayne Ellington stayed golden against OKC and led Miami with four treys on the night.

That said, he also did some things off the dribble and came up with this very smart and unselfish pass to JJ with the defense focused on stopping him:

When it was all said and done, Ellington tallied 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, four rebounds and two assists.

Other Takeaways:

-In addition to mixing things up offensively with treys and attacks inside, Justise Winslow also came to play on the defensive end as usual.

Throughout the contest, Winslow did a nice job on some very tough covers in Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. As such, one of the 21-year-old’s better sequences of the game came thanks to good defense on PG.

With less than two minutes to go in the third, Winslow recovered well from a screen and blocked George, which led to a three for Ellington in transition.

In all, Winslow amassed 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, six rebounds and a steal to go along with that block above.

Game Notes:

-With their 13 treys on the night, the HEAT set a franchise record for most threes in a season (818).

-Derrick Jones Jr., Hassan Whiteside (left hip flexor strain), Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment) and Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will now travel to Indiana to face the Pacers on Sunday at 5:00 PM. Miami’s next home game will be against the Cavaliers on Tuesday at 8:00 PM. Tickets for that game can be found here.

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