Tag - Dwayne Wade

Thunder Game Day No. 74: vs. Miami Heat

Oklahoma City Thunder (43-30, 25-11 home)

vs

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

Friday, March 23 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
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 6½-point favorite. The over/under is 215½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | HEAT: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With their winning streak broken, the Oklahoma City Thunder will look to get back into their winning ways as they host the Miami Heat tonight at the Peake.
  • Boston stunned the Thunder on Tuesday night. Miami survived a double overtime thriller against the Denver Nuggets.
  • The Miami-Thunder series has been super tight because of the LeBron James era. Without James, the Thunder are 5-1 against Miami since the King returned to Cleveland. That includes three straight at home vs. Miami.
  • This is Oklahoma City’s fourth straight game against a team that’s .500 or better. They have six more remaining after tonight.

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 39-33 on the season, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Heat have won three straight and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
  • In their last game, Miami beat the pants off the Knicks 119-98 on Wednesday night.
  • In the all-time series, Oklahoma City is 36-22 against Miami.
  • Since the Thunder relocated from Seattle, Oklahoma City is only 10-8.
  • When the games are played at the Peake, the Thunder are 5-4. That includes three straight wins.
  • The Miami-Thunder series has been super tight because of the LeBron James era. Without James, the Thunder are 5-1 against Miami since the King returned to Cleveland.
  • Last season Oklahoma City swept the Heat 2-0. The Thunder won both games by an average of 13.0 points per game.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Hassan Whiteside (hip) is out.
    Dwayne Wade (hamstring) is out.
    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

  • Oklahoma City host the Portland Trail Blazers in a pivotal game on Sunday evening.
  • Then, Oklahoma City goes to San Antonio on Tuesday night.

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.

Bench Production

While the Thunder bench is only 13-10 when the out score their opponents, they’re even better when the bench is shooting efficiently. Oklahoma City is 17-5 when the bench shoots better than their opponent. Not necessarily out scoring, but more efficient.

Rebound

Oklahoma City has to win the rebounding battle tonight. The Thunder are 32-10 when they have the same or more rebounds as their opponents. They’re a fun 11-20 when they lose the rebounding battle. Miami is 23-15 when they win the rebounding battle. If Oklahoma City can rebound, they’ll run away with this.

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Thunder tame the Bulls 109-94

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

It what was maybe the most complete game of the season, Oklahoma City thumped the Chicago Bulls 109-94 on Monday night.

The Thunder improved to 23-16 on the season and grabbed their first road win in a tough January slate.

We certainly have a long stretch ahead of this month,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. “Previous road trips helped us get this win tonight.”

It’s Oklahoma City’s first win in the Windy City since March of 2014.

“Just take this one game at a time,” Russell Westbrook said. “Continue to move forward.”

Westbrook finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, 14 assists. It’s the fourth time this season he has been one point, rebound or assist shy of triple-double.

Oklahoma City came out firing early on, grabbing a quick 31-20 lead off an Enes Kanter and-one opportunity early second quarter. The lead continued to balloon for the Thunder through fantastic ball movement from Westbrook, who had seven assists at halftime.

A Joffrey Lauvergne three-pointer and a Kanter put back all of a sudden saw the Thunder hold a 39-22 lead with 8:59 left until halftime.

Westbrook nailed his only three-pointer with two seconds left in the half, putting Oklahoma City up 61-46 at the break.

Steven Adams and Kanter feasted on the worn out Bulls. With Jimmy Butler sick and Dwayne Wade banged up, both eventually left and did not return, the twin towers lit up the Bulls for 42 points and 17 rebounds. They were a combined 20-of-25 from the floor.

It’s the second time Kanter and Adams have scored 20 each in a game (Dec. 25 vs. Minnesota).

“All year long they continue to make my job easier on both sides of the floor,” Westbrook said.

Taj Gibson hit a free throw, cutting the game to a 67-57 Thunder advantage with 6:51 left in the third and there were signs of a Thunder collapse. However, Oklahoma City went on a 22-7 blow up to give Oklahoma City a 89-64 lead with 54 seconds left in the third.

Victor Oladipo finished with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Alex Abrines hit one three-pointer, finishing with seven points. Andre Roberson had 8 points tonight.

The Thunder dished out a season high 30 assists.

No rest for the weary as Oklahoma City welcomes the rival Memphis Grizzlies into Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night. Game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be a nationally televised game on ESPN.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Defend the three: C

Oklahoma City allowed Chicago to score 35 percent of their deep balls tonight. Which didn’t really matter as Chicago couldn’t hit a two really to save their life. Oklahoma City can say they were pretty lucky with what they allowed. Against better competition, this could be a dagger.

Get to the FT line: F

Oklahoma City only took 11 free throw attempts tonight. Like the first key, it didn’t matter much as Oklahoma City shot the lights out. Had the Thunder missed some shots, this could have changed the game considerably. Oklahoma City lived to fight another day.

Bench: A

Oklahoma City’s bench had the most points (40) since their New Year’s Eve win over the Clippers (53). They were 17-of-32 from the floor and really dominated when they were in the game, particularly Enes Kanter, who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

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Game Day #54: Thunder at Heat

Oklahoma City Thunder (40-13, 17-8 road) at Miami Heat (38-14, 22-2 home)

  at  

Where: American Airlines Arena – Miami, FL
When: 7:00 p.m. CST
TV:
 ESPN2 (209 Directv, 28 Cox, 606 AT&T U-Verse, 144 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Heat
PG Russell Westbrook Mario Chalmers
SG Thabo Sefolosha Dwayne Wade
SF Kevin Durant Lebron James
PF Serge Ibaka Chris Bosh
C Kendrick Perkins Joel Anthony
6th Man James Harden Martell Webster

Last time: The Thunder thumped the Miami heat in front of a national TV audience 103-87.

The Miami Heat are struggling right now, well for them. They’re 3-3 in their last six games. One of those is a humilating loss to Oklahoma City.  Since then they’ve dropped games to Indiana and Boston. All three games have been by double digits.

The Heat are the home teams of the league. Only two losses were to Milwaukee and Atlanta. They’re sitting on a pretty 16 game home winning streak. However, last year Oklahoma City stole a win in Miami.

In fact, Oklahoma City is 2-0 since the Kendrick Perkins strade vs. Miami.

Oklahoma City is coming off a very lack luster performance against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder haven’t lost back-to-back games since Jan. 2-3.  However, against the Heat, in Miami, that will be tested tonight. Could get a little easier for OKC. Dwayne Wade will play tonight.

Keys to the game

Fast break points
Oklahoma City loves to run, and against the Grizzlies, OKC did not do that. Against the Heat 10 days ago, Oklahoma City was able to get up and down the court on the Heat. Oklahoma City will need to do this against tonight.

Turnovers
While OKC turned it over 18 times against the Grizzlies, against the Heat, OKC really held on to the ball, not turning it over so much. It’s something that was key in the 16 point win. Oklahoma City holds onto the ball, they’re nearly invisible.

Three-Point Shooting
OKC was 4-9 vs. the Heat on March 25. It was efficient and really were key threes when they went down. OKC doesn’t need to shoot 20 attmepts to win this game. However, they need to hit the shots.

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Thunder Links – March 26, 2012

Kevin Durant almost ended up at North Carolina, not Texas. Durant had decided on North Carolina, but at the last minute, (North Carolina coach Roy) Williams made a brain-numbing decision with his lone remaining ride,” Feinberg said. “He tabled Durant and chose Brandan Wright instead. Think Roy regrets that one? Durant landed on his feet, choosing wisely. One of the important reasons for Texas was its great strength and conditioning coach, Todd Wright. (Cont…)

Conflicting reports on Derek Fisher’s contract. According to HoopsWorld, Derek Fisher will make $395,417 from the Thunder after signing as an unrestricted free agent last Wednesday. However, during OKC’s 103-87 victory at home against the Miami Heat on Sunday night, ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted: “Tidbit to enhance your Heat-OKC viewing: Sources briefed on deal say Derek Fisher’s rest-of-season contract with Thunder is for $2.3 million.” (Cont…)

KD over Lebron for the MVP? NBA’s Sekou Smith discusses it. That shadow boxing routine LeBron James and Dwyane Wadedid before Sunday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder might have been more appropriate had James and Kevin Durant done it. Well, Durant showed up and showed out — in what, for most of the night, was truly a head-to-head matchup James. The Heat star, on the other hand, continued the struggles that have plagued him the past week and a half. He finished with a pedestrian-by-his-standards 17 points, seven assists, four turnovers and three rebounds. One game does not a MVP make, but if you are trying to find ways to separate the two of them, head-to-head competition is a great place to start. And Durant dominated this matchup. (Cont…)

KD and company are the best in the West. In a game allegedly pitting two title contenders against each other, it looked like both teams had different goals in mind. The Thunder came out aggressive, assertive, not looking only to win and gain an advantage over the Heat in the standings, but dominate them all night long. The Miami Heat looked like a bunch of guys who can’t wait to get out of dodge and get this road trip. (Cont…)

Aggrey Sam evaluates the West Contenders. OKC is the best. Two-time reigning NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant’s ability to score one-on-one against any competition was certainly illuminated, as he took on LeBron James, regarded as one of the league’s top individual defenders and not only scored at will, but appeared to sap James’ energy on the other end of the floor. Meanwhile, All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook didn’t have one of his recent high-scoring games, but was a solid distributor, providing opportunities for defensive-oriented inside players Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, while sixth-man extraordinaire James Harden also picked up the slack. (Cont…)

OKC Bigs kick the Heat, and writers eat crow Let us be the first to snack on the sautéed crow that comes along with snap reactions of that sort. Thunder bigs Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka had spectacular performances in Sunday’s statement win over the Heat, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor as the Heat’s bigs struggled to match their effort, intensity and production. Ibaka scored 19 points and Perkins 16, shooting a combined 16-for-21 from the floor. Ibaka grabbed 10 rebounds, Perkins six as they imposed their will around the basket all game long. Chris Bosh,Udonis Haslem, Ronny Turiaf and Joel Anthony were simply no match for them on the big stage (or as big as the regular season stage can get). (Cont…)

If you forgot, Perkins kicked Wade in the face (on accident, I think). I mean, Kendrick Perkins’ right foot definitely hit the face of Dwyane Wade after this fourth-quarter dunk during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s convincing 103-87 primetime win over the visiting Miami Heat. On that score, we can certainly all agree. So if your definition of a kick is “when one person’s foot makes contact with another person’s body, especially in an adversarial situation/environment,” then sure, this could be characterized as a kick. Judging by his reaction to the play, it seems fair to say that Wade views it that way; as someone whose face thankfully (thus far) has remained untouched by Kendrick Perkins’ feet, it probably wouldn’t be fair for me to say that Dwyane’s feelings are invalid. (Cont…)

Non-Thunder news to mention, worth it though. Lebron is becoming harder to dislike. But before you bring out the torches and pitchforks, you might want to hear this story about LeBron, a layover in Oklahoma City and a run-in with some servicemen. Refueling a massive airplane takes time, so according to an airport worker who witnessed the entire scene, the players got off the jet and went inside the general aviation terminal at Will Rogers World Airport. Some lounged in chairs. Others stretched their legs. Most stayed in their own little world. Not LeBron. He noticed a couple of uniformed military personnel approach the team’s security person. Unbeknown to him, about a dozen helicopters were stopped there for fuel as well. There were Blackhawks and Apaches and Chinooks, all on long-distance flights. Will Rogers happened to be their refueling stop. (Cont…)

Lebron & KD had intense workouts this summer. For five days last summer, the two NBA superstars came together for one of the most grueling workout routines they have experienced in their careers. With only a few weeks before the playoffs, James is crediting those grueling workouts for contributing to one of the best seasons of his career. “Monday through Friday, twice a day, and it was one of the toughest weeks that we’ve both had as far as workouts,” James said. “But it was some great work, and we got a lot out of it.”  (Cont…)

Mayberry says Collison will be huge in a Finals match up with Miami. With all the star power on both teams, and the highlight potential, it’s Collison’s ability to draw charges that could shape the complexion of a playoff series. With the Thunder having him as its last line of defense, Collison can erase mistakes out on the perimeter by stepping in and taking a charges on the Heat’s wing players. He showed it tonight. (Cont…)

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Thunder Cool Heat, win 103-87

The Oklahoma City Thunder trailed early in the second quarter to the Miami Heat. It lasted 18 seconds. James Harden hit three free throws and Oklahoma City grabbed the two point lead and never looked back. The Thunder used a near triple-double from MVP candidate Kevin Durant to run the Heat out of the building 103-87. The Thunder improved to 37-12 and 22-4 at home.

It was built as a potential NBA Finals match up between two elite teams. Both teams were tied for the second best winning percentage in the league. However, it was just one team that really was consistent all night.  Oklahoma City shot really well in the first quarter, even though the only held onto a one point game after the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was the Kevin Durant look-at-me-now show. Durant went off in the second quarter for 11 explosive points. One that was punctuated by a huge alley oop pass from Russell Westbrook.  Oklahoma City took their biggest lead of the first half off a Harden dunk that made the score 55-42 with 2:00 to go until half. Oklahoma City would go into halftime with a 60-49 lead.

The second half had a lot more defense than the first half. Oklahoma City really struggled to score in the third quarter. Credit a pretty decent Miami defense accompanied by bad shooting in the quarter. However, Oklahoma City never quit. They were able to push the lead to as many as 14 in the quarter. It was not to be there for long as Dwayne Wade hit a 65 foot buzzer beater to end the quarter at 80-69.

The fourth quarter was more great defense from the Thunder. However, it was the Kendrick Perkins explosion party that really just set the tone for the end of the game. Check out the clip to see what I’m talking about:

Oklahoma City would push their lead to as many as 16 multiple times before finally getting it to 16 at the very end. Some three point shooting really kept Miami in the ballpark for most of the game. There were a couple of times where Miami did get it to 9 points. Even once they got it to 8, but Oklahoma City would not allow them any closer.

Post Game Grades

Defense: A
Oklahoma City held the “vaunted” Heat to 87 points, while forcing 21 turnovers. I said if OKC could hold Miami under their season average (48%), they’d have a really good chance. They did. They held them to 46% shooting from the field. Not to mention, the turnovers were just as impressive. They turned 21 Miami turnovers into 28 points.

Rebounding: A
Oklahoma City won the rebounding battle by five boards. However, most importantly, they only allowed FOUR offensive rebounds. They held the Heat to just six second chance points. It was a very impressive game overall on the rebounding side of it.

James Harden: A
The Miami Heat did not have an answer for this guy. He was 6-7 from the floor and 6-7 from the free throw line for 19 points. He was a cool +10 from the floor in 32 game minutes. Only real negative from this all? Harden had 7 turnovers.

Thunder Thoughts

  • How about the energy of the Thunder? They came out and really just exploded and it helped surge them through all Heat runs.
  • I was very impressed with how Oklahoma City handled Westbrook on the bench with three fouls in the first half. When he went out with his third foul, It was just a four point OKC lead. OKC Finished with an 11 point lead at halftime.
  • Kevin. Wayne. Durant. This cat was just impressive. He had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. He really just had Lebron’s James’ lunch all evening. What is even better about this is he was all over James defensively. James finished with 17 points on 18 shots. He also help force four LBJ turnovers.
  • If you would have told me before the game that Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins would have combined for 35 points on 16 of 21 shooting with 16 rebounds, I would have told you to turn off the video game.
  • Kendrick Perkins is averaging 11.3 points per game over his last three games. I don’t think I ever thought I’d see this from him in a Thunder uniform.
  • Russell Westbrook didn’t have the best offensive night. However, he was a huge headache defensively for the Heat. He had three steals and was very involved in forcing bad shot selections. I was really impressed with how he kept his composure even though he only made 4-of-16 shots
  • I knew three-point shooting was going to be key in this game. Both teams were top 11 in percentages. Had I had 4 keys to the game, It would have been number 4. That said, Oklahoma City forced the Heat to go 7-22 from the floor for 31.8% from behind the arc. While, the Thunder went 6-11 from three-point range.
  • Coincidence or not, Oklahoma City has improved to 3-0 since acquiring Derek Fisher. They’re winning by an average of 9 points a night.
  • The Thunder are now 18-3 when they have 20 or more assists. They had 26 tonight on 39 made baskets. Just so impressive.
  • Oklahoma City forced a lot of Miami turnovers tonight. Also, not allowing a lot of offensive rebounds, the Thunder were able to take a lot more shots than the Heat.  For most of the game, the Thunder had 8 shot advantage on the Heat until OKC started turning it over midway in the fourth quarter. OKC made 6 more shots on 3 extra chances than Miami.
  • Oklahoma City now has a magic number of seven games until they clinch the division and a playoff spot.

next up: at Portland – 9 pm tip-off

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