The highly anticipated rematch between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat would have a different result than the first meeting.
In the Thunder’s first game in a week, they would once again get out to a slow start vs. the two-time defending champs. This time, they were unable to ever fully recover as Miami went on to win 103-81.
LeBron James led Miami with 33 points on 15-of-22 shooting. He left the game in the fourth after Serge Ibaka gave him a bloody nose on a driving dunk.
Kevin Durant was held in check for most of the night. He scored 28 points on 22 shots and also had eight rebounds and three assists.
The Heat doubled up the Thunder 34-17 in the first quarter as LeBron made his first six shots from the field in that quarter.
The Thunder had trouble dealing with Miami’s defense and rarely seemed to get into much of a rhythm on that end. They would turn the ball over 20 times.
The Thunder got as close as five at one point and trailed by as many as 22. They made 16 threes the first time they played Miami back on Jan. 29, but were just 2-for-20 on threes tonight. Jeremy Lamb was the worst of the bunch, going 0-for-6 from three.
The Thunder were down seven at halftime and were down 11 after three. The Heat began the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run with Durant on the bench.
Russell Westbrook returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Christmas Day. He looked rusty, played 24 minutes, scored 16 points on 4-of-12 shooting and had two assists. His handle was a bit off, he had four turnovers and didn’t hit a jump shot. He had a great stretch to end the second quarter and pull the Thunder close at halftime, but other than that did not appear to be 100 percent yet.
Kendrick Perkins started the game and played the first five minutes and was minus-10 during that time. He also started the second half, which was a surprise, but only played a few minutes before injuring his groin. He did not return.
The Thunder split the season series with Miami. They fall to 43-13 on the season and will play next at home vs. the Clippers on Sunday.