Durant leads Thunder past HeatMar 26, 2012 - 5:27 AM
"I was just trying to make the right play every time, whether it's for an assist or for a hockey assist," said Durant. "I'm just trying to make the right play."
James Harden and Serge Ibaka netted 19 points apiece -- Ibaka also grabbed 10 boards -- and Kendrick Perkins scored a season-high 16 points for the Thunder, who won their third straight.
It was the first meeting between the Eastern and Western Conference contenders. Oklahoma City has the best record in West while the Heat trail Chicago in the East, but Miami entered the contest percentage points ahead of the Thunder, which could come into play if both teams reach the NBA Finals in June.
Dwyane Wade paced the visitors with 22 points, Chris Bosh contributed 18 and LeBron James finished with 17 for the Heat, who saw a four-game winning streak snapped.
They will get a shot at revenge when they host OKC on April 4.
The game was tightly contested until late in the second quarter, when the Thunder rolled off a 12-2 run to take a 13-point advantage. Durant, Harden, Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha all scored during the rally, which put the hosts up 55-42.
Paced by Durant's 18 point, six assist half, they took a 60-49 lead into intermission.
"They jumped us, everybody saw it," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "They were the aggressors. They played more to our identity than we [did], much more physical."
Miami trailed by double-digits throughout the majority of the third period. Wade swished a three-quarter court trey -- officially listed as a 56-footer -- as the horn sounded on the frame, but Miami still trailed 80-69 entering the final stanza.
The Heat made it interesting when an 8-0 run, capped off by back-to-back treys by Shane Battier, cut their deficit to 91-83 with 7:12 remaining. But Ibaka knocked down a midrange jumper to stop the bleeding and Russell Westbrook found Perkins alone in the paint for a huge dunk a few minutes later to put the Thunder back up by 12, at 97-85.
Miami got no closer in the final minutes.
Derek Fisher, playing his third game with the Thunder after signing as a free- agent and who had received interest from the Heat, was held scoreless (0- for-2)...Harden had seven turnovers...Heat forward Mike Miller was not with the Heat due to a sprained left ankle...Wade hit three three-pointers. He had six all season prior to the contest.
- MIAMI: 87
OKLAHOMA CITY: 103
Mar 25 10:34 PM
- MIAMI: 69
OKLAHOMA CITY: 80
End of 3rd
Mar 25 9:57 PM
- MIAMI: 24
OKLAHOMA CITY: 25
End of 1st
Mar 25 8:36 PM
- MIAMI: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 25 8:11 PM
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