The Oklahoma City Thunder crushed the Miami Heat by 18, 93-75, at Chesapeake Arena. The Thunder are still in sole ownership of the 8th spot in the Western conference. Also, they are now 24-4 at home with Russell Westbrook in the line up.
Six players within the Thunder squad ended up finishing in double digits. MVP candidate Westbrook notched his 10th triple-double in the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 17 assists despite struggling with his shot, shooting 5-16 from the field. Enes Kanter returned into action after rolling his ankle in Wednesday's win over the Celtics and ended up recording a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds shooting 12-20 FG. Steven Adams also added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Secondary players including Mitch McGary, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Morrow combined for 36 points.
The Heat where led by Hassan Whiteside, Dwayne Wade, and Goran Dragic who combined for 37 points.
The Thunder overall shot 44% from the 3-point line and 33% from the 3-point line. In context, the Heat shot 39.5% from the field and 16.7% from behind the arc. Furthermore, the Thunder have also out rebounded Miami 52-40 in the following game including 22 on the offensive glass.
Left ankle turn for Andre Roberson. The hits keep coming https://t.co/xienSPTflW— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 22, 2015
Andre Roberson was ruled out of the game early due to left ankle injury. On the surface, this was supposed to have a negative impact on the team's defensive performance, but surprisingly it didn't. The entire squad were just completely stable mentally and ready to compete on the floor, rarely giving Miami any open looks in the interior. They played for each other by playing hard on both ends and their hard work paid off, leading by 10 at the half.
The Thunder continued their offensive execution in the second half followed by an astonishing defensive presence that gave them the key to completely control the game and come out with a surprisingly easy victory.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
The Thunder played a complete game on both ends of the court, a rarity these days. While OKC's offense has been humming, their defense has been getting scorched, so it was nice to see the defense do a great job controlling Miami.
Also, the Thunder defense was opportunistic. They forced Miami into 19 turnovers, which the Thunder converted into 30 points.
Thunder Wonder: Mitch McGary
Thunder Down Under: Enes Kanter
Thunder Blunder: No one, they where all brilliant
Thunder Plunderer: Russell Westbrook
Next game: vs the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, March 24th, at 7PM CST