Thunder 115 - HEAT 93 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-93 Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Josh Richardson led the way for the HEAT with 18 points.

1. J. Rich Sharp On Both Ends

Despite having a very strong defender in Paul George on him for a bulk of the contest, Richardson showed no fear.

As a whole, Richardson did the majority of his work off pull-up jumpers, such as this tough one over PG in the first quarter:

Of course, he also set up his teammates pretty well, too.

On the flip side of the ball, J. Rich was his usual versatile self and defended George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony at certain points.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough in the end.

In addition to his team-high 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting, the 24-year-old Richardson also had three rebounds, three assists and a steal.

2. Whiteside Answers The Call

Like Richardson, Hassan Whiteside was ready to rock on both ends from the start. After coming away with two blocks in the first quarter, the big fella swatted Westbrook late in the second for one of his better sequences of the night:

As the game progressed, Whiteside remained ready for the catch inside and finished a number of plays at the rim.

When it was all said and done, the 7-footer tallied 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds and an assist to go along with his aforementioned three blocks.

3. TJ Gets Going In The Third

With OKC gaining some momentum in the third quarter, TJ did his best to combat that with 10 points in the period, including this smart drive against the slower Steven Adams:

Way to take advantage of a mismatch.

On the defensive end, Johnson didn’t back down at all from Westbrook and also matched up with George on a few possessions in the second half.

In all, Johnson amassed 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Other Takeaways:

-As usual, Justise Winslow made some important hustle plays and guarded multiple guys on Monday night, including George, Anthony, Patrick Patterson and Jerami Grant.

Winslow also showed nice touch around the basket and had some wise cuts, such as this one late in the second quarter that led to a two-handed stuff:

Winslow finished with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, a team-high nine rebounds and two assists.

Game Note:

-Luke Babbitt, Jordan Mickey, Derrick Walton Jr. and Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will finish the regular season on Wednesday night against the Raptors at 8:00 PM. Tickets for that game can be found here.

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