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Early momentum evaporates as Thunder fall 108-94 to Heat

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Oklahoma City entered second half up 54-45, but couldn’t survive late burst from defending Eastern Conference champions

NBA: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder couldn’t survive a late burst from the Miami Heat in a 108-94 loss Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder (12-19) were outscored 29-17 in the fourth quarter, fueled by 13 sharp-shooter Duncan Robinson’s team-high 22 points. Miami (14-17) scored 63 in the second half to erase a 54-45 OKC lead at halftime.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was once again outstanding for the Thunder, scoring a game-high 27 points (10-for-15). He went 5-for-6 from three-point range and did a number against Miami off the dribble, finishing multiple times at the basket on highlight-reel plays.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s effort helped spark a monster second quarter for OKC.

The Thunder outscored Miami 33-22 in the period as Gilgeous-Alexander and rookie guard Theo Maledon each poured in eight points. Five of SGA’s points came at the free-throw line while Maledon went 2-for-2 from deep.

Miami’s turnaround started immediately in the third quarter.

All-Star guard Jimmy Butler sparked his team’s resurgence, scoring nine points in the period with three assists. He bounced back and seemed much more aggressive after scoring just six in the first half. The Heat altogether went 11-for-20 in the third after shooting 35% before the break.

The fourth quarter was much of the same.

Robinson caught fire, going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 5-for-8 overall. Kendrick Nunn chipped in eight of his 20 points along with four assists. Six players finished in double figures for the Heat, including All-Star center Bam Adebayo who went for 19 points (7-for-10) with 13 rebounds.

After a hot start, things got cold fast for the Thunder.

OKC shot over 54% in the first half but just 33% in the second. Isaiah Roby was the team’s lone player to score in double digits after the break, chipping in 10 of his 12 points. Not much was happening offensively outside of Gilgeous-Alexander’s production.

Luguentz Dort and Mike Muscala each scored 11 points. The Thunder were out-gunned on the boards 45-38 and turned the ball over 17 times. Miami scored 40 points in the paint and 16 points on 10 second-chance opportunities.

The Thunder will look to bounce back Wednesday when they face the San Antonio Spurs.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.