The Oklahoma City Thunder have been hard at work storming through the West, but when challenged by Miami on Thursday, they just couldn’t take the Heat, and lost 110-100 right before the All-Star break.
Despite starting extremely cold, Kevin Durant led the Thunder in scoring, with 40 points, for the sixth time this year. Russell Westbrook was the only other Oklahoma City player to record double digit points, with 26.
For Miami, Lebron James continued his absolute domination of the league, putting up double-double figures with 39 points and 12 rebounds. No one has had an answer for James in his last seven contests, and the Thunder would not be able to come up with one, either. James was primed to continue his incredible run of games with at least 30 points and 60-percent shooting to seven, but missed a shot beyond the 3-point line as the shot clock ran down with just over a minute left, which brought to 58-percent on the night (14-for-24).
Chris Bosh also helped out with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The win for Miami served as the sixth straight time they have bested the Thunder, dating to last year’s NBA Finals.
The Thunder–who trailed by more than 20 points at times–avoided a St. Valentine’s Day massacre when they pushed back hard in the fourth quarter to reduce the deficit to just ten points.
This team has been incredible itself at times, but has yet to find a way to come out on top of the Heat. This is an ominous situation the Thunder find themselves in, as it is likely Miami will once again be an obstacle for this team come playoffs time.
With the loss, Oklahoma City sits a 39-14, and can take solace in the fact that they still sit atop the league with the second-best record. After the All-Star Games, they will face the Houston Rockets next, on Fri., Feb. 20.