This game wasn't one of those that got easily out of hand right off the bat. It was one of those games where the Thunder crawled out to a 10 point lead, and then they gradually stabilized over the 2nd. During the Third, the Thunder rapidly charged out of the gate, gradually increasing the lead, and during the fourth, the Thunder shut the door.
Below: Analysis, Awards
All things considered, this was actually a pretty boring game. But the question remains: How did the Thunder destroy the Heat? Well, the first, most obvious, and most important reason is that the Heat couldn't exploit the Thunder inside. Jermaine O'Neal was kept in check for most of the game, scoring only 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting. Magloire, Haslem, and Anthony were also complete non-factors. It's surprising, given that Krstic played more minutes than usual, but then when you consider how much time the Thunder had big men on the floor, even with Collison's concussion, it's not completely surprising.
Due to the lack of inside scoring for the Heat, they had to do a lot of shooting and a lot of missing. Taking aside the relatively adept shooting of Beasley, Wade, and O'Neal, the Heat made only 7 out of 28 shots, which is a paltry 25%. The Heat can't really expect to win when their team is shooting that poorly. Nobody could find an offensive rhythm, so it just goes to show that a team can't survive on the production of their stars alone. All that being said, Dwayne Wade still had a fantastic game, scoring 4 points on just under 50% shooting, Grabbing 4 Rebounds, Dishing 6 Assists, Obtaining 4 Steals, and Blocking 3 Shots. It would be a travesty to not call him the Thunder Plunderer.
The Thunder had a great game on all fronts. Well, besides the Russell Westbrook front. He was nearly destroyed by the Heat's adept guard play, having only 6 points and committing 7 turnovers. What Rafer Alston lacked in offense tonight was easily made up by his defense on Westbrook. Westbrook did have 11 assists, but that's not enough of a buffer to keep him from receiving the Thunder Blunder award for his performance.
The Thunder Wonder goes, obviously, to Kevin Durant. 36 Points, 10 Rebounds, and 3 Assists recap another fantastic night from him. The Thunder Down Under goes to Serge Ibaka, for his great defensive effort, his 8 Points, and his 10 Rebounds.
And thus, this was the Miami game. This recap has sat open in my browser for days, so I'm glad I finally pounded this thing out. FINALLY! Onward!
Next Game: Against Atlanta, of course.