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Thunder vs Heat, final score: Big OKC first half leads to easy win, 118-102

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The Thunder only needed a half to put the game nearly out of reach for the struggling Heat.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

box score | Hot Hot Hoops

The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Miami Heat on the road for their 7th straight win, 118-102. In a game whose outcome was largely determined by halftime after OKC raced out to a 72-53 lead, the Thunder shot 58% from the floor in the half, and 9-13 from three.

The big first half push came from Paul George, who is making first halves his personal stomping grounds (and 4th quarters his sandbox), who finished the half with 26 on 9-12 shooting, including 5-6 from three. But the big surprise was Dennis Schroder, who continued his hot shooting streak by scoring 24 points in the 2nd quarter on 9-10 shooting, including 4-5 from three.

From that point on, the Thunder merely had to keep the Heat at arm’s length by not letting them go on any aggressive runs that could have turned the tables. The Thunder defense swarmed the 3-point line, holding the Heat to only 11-36 from beyond the arc, while still not falling into the trap of fouling. Heat sub Kelly Olynyk was the only Heat player who had a productive night, shooting 8-12 to score 21.

Almost as an afterthought, Russell Westbrook finished with another triple-double, recording 14 points on 6-10 shooting, 14 assists and 12 rebounds.

Steven Adams, returning from missing the last game with a sprained ankle, recorded 27 minutes of action but struggled finishing around the rim, shooting only 5-14. That said, it was easy to see how OKC enjoyed having him back on the court on both ends, as the defense was more organized and jumpers more open.

Terrance Ferguson returned as well after missing the last win with back issues, but in 21 minutes only took a single shot attempt, missing it. Even so, his return allowed Billy Donovan to return to a more consistent rotation.

One of the impressive characteristics of the Thunder’s winning streak is how quickly they’re getting out of the gates and shooting a high percentage. Which makes me wonder how they’ll respond when they don’t have that quick caffeine shot of offense early on. Their next game may answer that question.

Next game: @ Boston Celtics on Sunday, Feb. 3rd at 1PM CST