James stays hot, helps Heat down ThunderFeb 15, 2013 - 6:29 AM
James fell short of continuing his unprecedented shooting stretch, but was dominant nonetheless in totaling 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as the Heat dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder in their own building, 110-100, en route to their seventh straight win.
In Miami's previous six victories, James accomplished what no player had ever done in NBA history, scoring at least 30 points each game while making 60- percent from the field or better. The three-time league MVP was on pace to keep the streak going, but missed a late 3-pointer to finish 14-of-24 (58 percent) from the field.
Chris Bosh chipped in 20 points and 12 rebounds, while fellow All-Star Dwyane Wade had 13 points and eight assists for the Heat, who virtually led by double digits the last three quarters to sweep the season series from last season's NBA Finals opponent.
"We had a great game plan and went out and executed it," James said.
Oklahoma City dropped back-to-back games for the second time this season and had its Chesapeake Energy Arena winning streak snapped at seven games.
Kevin Durant logged 40 points on 12-of-24 shooting, while Russell Westbrook donated 26 points, 10 assists and five boards in the loss.
"They jumped on us and we were playing uphill the entire game," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "Very rarely do we finish up the game and never lead, particularly on our home court."
Miami had its way throughout, as it owned a 32-17 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back. James had 11 points in the frame, including a late 23-foot jumper over Durant, who was 0-for-4 from the field and was whistled for a technical foul for slapping his hand on the court after a no- call on a drive to the basket.
Durant stayed in the game after a scary fall to the hardwood going for a rebound, but still didn't hit his first field goal until there was 4:22 left in the second quarter.
Late in the half, James displayed his arsenal in a four-possession span when he drained a pair of 3-pointers around two contested step-back jumpers. He finished the half with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Miami went into the break holding a healthy 63-46 lead -- the largest halftime deficit the Thunder faced all season.
Six straight points by Durant early in the fourth quarter gave the Thunder life, but they still trailed by a large margin, 89-75.
Each time the hosts were about to pull within single digits, Miami had an answer, and it wasn't until the final minute that the margin fell below 10.
The Thunder outscored the Heat at the foul line, 33-17, but shot just 3-of-13 from behind the arc. Miami made 11 from long range, with James connecting on 4-of-8 ... Oklahoma City fell to 23-4 at home.
- MIAMI: 110
OKLAHOMA CITY: 100
Feb 14 10:57 PM
- MIAMI: 88
OKLAHOMA CITY: 69
End of 3rd
Feb 14 10:14 PM
- MIAMI: 63
OKLAHOMA CITY: 46
Feb 14 9:27 PM
- MIAMI: 32
OKLAHOMA CITY: 17
End of 1st
Feb 14 8:47 PM
- MIAMI: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 11:35
Feb 14 8:18 PM
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