The Oklahoma City Thunder (2-4) were downed by the Miami Heat (3-3) on Monday in comfortable fashion 118-90. For the Thunder, this game dropped them into a five-way for last in the Western Conference, while the Miami Heat stepped up to an even 3-3 record.
The first quarter of the game was headlined by a series of runs. The Heat took an early 11-3 run in the first three and a half minutes of the game off of early three balls (made four in the first.) But the Thunder fought behind forward Darius Bazley, who scored eight of the team’s first ten points, and went on a 6-0 in the final five seconds of the game to even things up going into the second.
The Heat’s shooting prowess from downtown continued in the second period, shooting 7-12 from downtown. The Heat went on a 16-5 run in the opening stages of the quarter and closed it on a 7-0 run. The Thunder’s game plan in this quarter was to take shots from deep, but they only shot 2-10 from three in the quarter. At halftime, the lead had been at its largest point up to that point, with the Heat mounting a 63-49 lead.
The biggest scare to the Heat’s lead came with eight minutes to go in the third, when the Thunder jumped out to an 11-2 run to begin the quarter, shrinking their lead to just four. However, Miami jumped right back, going on a 20-0 run (Kelly Olynyk scored 11 of those) that lasted six minutes to push this game out of reach.
For Miami, they won this game off of moving the ball. They dropped their season-high 34 assists in this game, and those translated to wide open threes, which they hit 16-34 of. Bam Adebayo led their team in points with 20 points (9-10 FG) and collected 8 rebounds. Kelly Olynyk dropped 19 points on high efficiency, shooting 7-9 (5-7 3pt) from the field.
Oklahoma City struggled to put the ball in the basket, with only three scorers finishing in double figures. Darius Bazely was a bright spot for the Thunder, racking up 16 points and 8 rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put in a team high 18 points on 7-15 shooting, and collected 2 rebounds, and 4 assists.
This game gave a good learning experience for all members of the Thunder squad, as all active players saw the court, including Darius Miller, who made his Thunder debut with 3 points.
The Thunder will have a chance to bounce back from Monday’s loss as they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.