Thunder 94 - HEAT 86 Game Recap
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
The Miami HEAT fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 94-86 Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Dwyane Wade led the way for the HEAT with 18 points and six assists.
Impact Performance of the Night: Despite the loss, Dwyane Wade had a solid outing on Tuesday night. Wade had a lot of great, nifty finishes inside and aggressively took it to the hoop. He also set up his teammates very well and threw up some great lobs to both Hassan Whiteside and Chris Andersen. In all, Wade finished with 18 points and six assists.
The Deciding Run: The HEAT went on an 11-4 run to cut the Thunder’s lead to 80-78 with about seven and a half minutes to go in regulation, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough.
Earlier, Miami went on a 10-3 run to take a 50-49 lead entering halftime. The HEAT amped up their defensive pressure and Dwyane Wade continued to be aggressive on the offensive end.
Play of the Game: With 7:11 to go in the first quarter, Dwyane Wade had the ball on the left wing. He then threw up a beautiful no-look lob for Hassan Whiteside, who finished the thunderous slam to put the HEAT up 8-6.
Another nice play came with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter when Wade had the ball at the three-point line on the left wing. Wade saw Andersen running towards the hoop, so he threw up a high lob. Andersen made a nice adjustment to it and slammed it home with one hand to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 82-80.
Lastly, with 11:37 to go in the second quarter, Reggie Jackson drove inside. He seemed to have a finish at the rim, but Chris Andersen came from behind to swat it and save two points. As usual, Andersen provided instant energy when he stepped on the floor.
Efficiency Rating: Offensive Efficiency: 92.1; Defensive Efficiency: 98.5
Trend to Watch: The HEAT’s defense continued to show improvement against the Thunder on Tuesday night. After scoring 127 points in each of its previous two games, Oklahoma City was held to 94 points on just 44.6 percent shooting. To be fair, the Thunder did take a lot of tough outside shots, but Miami forced some of those looks. The HEAT did a good job of keeping guys in check, as no one on Oklahoma City really went off. A decent amount of scores by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook came in transition, but that was still enough for the Thunder to come away with the victory.
The Takeaway: While it was a tough loss to take, the HEAT fought very hard against a team that in all likelihood will make some noise in the playoffs. As stated before, Miami held Oklahoma City’s offense in check, as Durant and Westbrook each scored just 19 points apiece on a combined 17-of-41 shooting.
On the offensive end, the HEAT had plenty of good looks, but they just didn’t fall. Turnovers were also a problem at times for Miami. Look for the HEAT to correct their mistakes Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets.
Notes: Hassan Whiteside exited the game with a right ankle sprain in the second quarter and did not return.