Oklahoma City Thunder (46-34, 20-20 away)

at

Miami Heat (39-33, 17-20 away)

Monday, April 9 :: 6:30 p.m. CST :: American Airlines Arena (21,000)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point favorite. The over/under is 212½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | HEAT: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder can clinch a playoffs spot with a win tonight in Miami against the Heat.
  • The Thunder beat the Heat back on March 23 in a tough 105-99 battle. Oklahoma City overcame a third quarter deficit to win.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Houston Rockets on Saturday night to move to within one win of the playoffs.
  • The Thunder are in the midst of a tight playoff battle. Oklahoma City is one game back of Utah for fourth place in the West. They’re also a game of in front of Denver for ninth place.
  • The Miami Heat have locked up their playoff lives and are now fighting for position. After getting blown out by the Knicks on Friday night, Miami has been relegated to a tie for sixth place with the Milwaukee Bucks.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).

SCOUTING THE HEAT

  • The Miami Heat are 43-37 on the season, tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference.
  • Over their last 10 games, Miami is 6-4.
  • In their last 10 home games, the Heat are an impressive 9-1.
  • In their last game, Miami was pummelled by the New York Knicks 122-98 on Friday night.
  • In the all-time series, Oklahoma City is 37-22 against Miami.
  • Since the Thunder relocated from Seattle, Oklahoma City is only 11-8.
  • When the games are played at the triple-A, the Thunder are 5-4.
  • Oklahoma City is 3-1 in Miami since LeBron went back to Cleveland.
  • In their previous meeting this season, Oklahoma City beat Miami 105-99. Hassan Whiteside didn’t play and Carmelo Anthony only scored six points.
  • With a five game winning streak against the Heat, Oklahoma City is looking for their third season sweep in four years against Miami.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Dion Waiters (ankle) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Miami is 25 points which occurred during last season’s 99-74 victory on Jan. 17, 2016.
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (22 points) vs. Miami occurred during an 103-81 loss on Feb. 20, 2014.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

NEXT UP

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder complete their 2017-18 regular season by hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, April 11.
  • Playoffs begin Sunday, April 15.

WHAT’S IN A HOT NAME

  • In October 1986, the owners of Miami’s expansion franchise selected Stephanie Freed’s Heat submission from more than 20,000 entries.
  • Those also included Sharks, Tornadoes, Beaches, and Barracudas.



Three Keys to the Game

Transition

The Heat are one of the best teams in the NBA in defending transition points. Oklahoma City might be one of the best in the league at getting out on the break, especially since the all-star break, but they’ll have to attack Miami tonight. The Heat aren’t the slowest team since the all-star break. The Thunder have to put the Heat on their heels and take this game.

Efficiency is key

Oklahoma City is 31-4 when when they outshoot their opponent. Oklahoma City comes out, shoot better, they’re most likely going to run away with this. We look back at their previous game and Oklahoma City outshot the Heat, leading to their victory.

Rebound

Oklahoma City has to win the rebounding battle tonight. The Thunder are 33-11 when they have the same or more rebounds as their opponents. They’re a fun 13-23 when they lose the rebounding battle. Miami is 25-16 when they win the rebounding battle. If Oklahoma City can rebound, they’ll run away with this.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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