Thunder final score: Heat survive Thunder, 103-97

W. Bennett Berry

Quick recap: the Heat win a rematch of last year's NBA finals, beating the Thunder 103-97.

Box Score

Hot Hot Hoops Recap

Lebron James had 29 points, flirting with a triple double, and Dwayne Wade Scored 21 as the Miami Heat was able to win a rematch of last year's NBA finals, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97.

The Thunder had 2 opportunities to tie the game in the final seconds to send the game into overtime but both shots came up short as the Thunder have now lost their last two games.

Kevin Durant led OKC with 33, and Russell Westbrook had 21 for the 21-6 Thunder. Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin also scored in double figures, with both of them scoring 15.

What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?

Last time these two teams met was on the same floor as the Heat blew out the Thunder to win the NBA championship. Tonight seemed like in the next game in that series. The Thunder seemed to have the same offensive and defensive problems that plagued them last season.

The Thunder decided to go to a different lineup rotation today and only went 8 deep. Both Eric Maynor and Hasheem Thabeet did not play, and instead Reggie Jackson played the role of back up point guard tonight. Although it may seem like Thabeet's lack of playing time may be due to Scott Brooks wanting to play a smaller lineup, Kendrick Perkins seemed to play a lot more than a small lineup would allow, including the final minutes of the ball game.

What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder lost?

Throughout the game their seemed to one glaring difference between the way these teams were playing. Although the score was close throughout much of the game, the Heat seemed to get better looks, and got them more easily than the Thunder were able to.

One thing that stuck out to me was the questionable lineups Scott Brooks used. Kendrick Perkins finished out the game for the Thunder and at times seemed to be a liability both offensive and defensively. I can not think of a single reason why in our final possession, down 3, Perkins was still out on the floor.

What was a key statistic to understanding the game?

The Miami beat The Thunder in the assist category, 20-14. While this may not seem like a huge margin, it seems to exemplify the style of play the Thunder had today. Russell Westbrook had one of the games that we've come to hate, going 5-19 shooting, having only 3 assists while committing 5 turnovers.

What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?

The Thunder don't have very many home games coming up, but they do have one on Thursday against the Mavs. The Mavs finally have Dirk Nowitzki back so this game won't exactly be a walk in the park. I can only hope the Thunder are as frustrated with their level of play as I am and come out with something to prove tomorrow.


Final - 12.25.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Oklahoma City Thunder 24 24 24 25 97
Miami Heat 27 27 19 30 103

Complete Coverage >



***

Dara's Awards

Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 33 points, 7 rebounds.

Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 15 points, 6 rebounds.

Thunder Blunder: Russell Westbrook, 21 points, 5-19 FGs.

Thunder Plunderer: Lebron James, 29 points 8 rebounds, 9 assists.

***

Next game: vs. Dallas Mavericks, on Thurs. Dec. 27th @ 7 pm CDT.

If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.

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