Thunder continue to roll in win over MiamiMar 17, 2011 - 4:07 AM Oklahoma City Thunder extended their winning streak to five games with a 96-85 victory over Miami.
The Thunder pulled away in the fourth quarter and finished off a 3-0 road trip, improving to 8-1 since their three-game losing streak at the end of February.
The Heat, coming off a 30-point victory over San Antonio on Monday, suffered from a poor second half performance by their three stars and had a three-game winning streak snapped.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were 17-of-35 for 38 combined points in the first half, then went just 4-for-24 for 23 points in the second.
"Our defense was as good as it could possibly be," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "We were making them miss."
Wade and Bosh led the way with 21 points apiece -- Bosh had just seven in the second half, all on free throws -- and James scored 19. Bosh added 11 rebounds and James had eight.
The Heat finished 3-3 on six-game homestand that started with back-to-back defeats to Chicago and Portland, which extended their losing streak to five games.
They snapped that skid with an impressive win over the Lakers, followed by victories over Memphis and the NBA-leading Spurs. But Wednesday's loss dropped them three games behind Boston and Chicago for No. 1 in the Eastern Conference standings.
"We have to make sure we put this behind us," said Bosh. "We lost today, but we can't let this effect our energy ... We just have to have that short memory and get back at it."
Frustrated down the stretch, Wade couldn't check his temper when he thought he was fouled by Serge Ibaka on a fast-break layup late in the fourth quarter. Ibaka had his hand on Wade, who punched the padding under the basket after he missed the left-handed shot.
After James Harden buried a three-pointer at the other end to give the Thunder a 10-point lead, Wade and Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra were both whistled for technical fouls, presumably for arguing the no-call.
Durant hit 1-of-2 from the line to make it an 89-78 game with 3:11 remaining and the Heat were never closer than nine the rest of the way.
The first three quarters were close.
The Thunder had a 24-18 lead after the first, but Miami pulled within 46-45 at halftime behind 14 points from Bosh, 13 from James and 11 from Wade.
Durant scored 14 in the first half and had eight during the third quarter, when Oklahoma City held Miami to just 4-of-16 shooting and 17 total points. Still, the Heat stayed within 67-62 heading into the fourth.
The Thunder pulled away with an 11-4 run to start the final quarter. Harden and Daequan Cook both had three-pointers during the burst and Durant capped it with a jumper to make it 78-66.
"One thing we have gotten better at," Durant said, "is closing out games."
The Thunder are No. 4 in the Western Conference...Ibaka had game-highs of 12 rebounds and three blocked shots to go along with six points...Harden scored 12 off the bench.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 96
Mar 16 10:53 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 96
End of Regulation
Mar 16 10:48 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 67
End of 3rd
Mar 16 10:01 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 46
Mar 16 9:13 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 24
End of 1st
Mar 16 8:36 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 16 8:11 PM
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