OKLAHOMA CITY —
Chris Bosh added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Dwayne Wade was held to 13 points before fouling out.
Durant paced Oklahoma City (39-14) with 40 points on 12-for-24 shooting from the field. Russell Westbrook added 26 points and 10 assists. However, the Thunder got only 14 points, seven rebounds and zero assists from its bench.
“What I can see tonight is a team, kind of like last year, this team is never going to die,” Wade said of the Thunder. “They have so many weapons, they are going to keep coming at you. This is a good team, no matter if they are having an off night. They always end the ball game, so that makes them dangerous.”
The Heat were on their game early. They had the Thunder running in circles as they tried to keep up with their crisp passing. Miami jumped out to a 28-13 lead.
On consecutive plays, Durant was called for a technical foul, then was undercut going for a rebound and landed awkwardly. After laying on ground for a couple of minutes, he got up and stayed in the game.
The Heat led 32-17 going into the second quarter.
It was the Heat’s defense that helped Miami separate itself from The Thunder. No matter what Oklahoma City tried to do, Miami had an answer. Durant didn’t make his first field goal of the game until 4:21 left in the second quarter when he hit a 3-pointer falling out of bounds.
Miami stretched its lead to 23 points at one point. It wasn’t the type of game Durant had hoped to see from himself or his team.
“Maybe it was nerves or too excited,” Durant said. “That was the game I think. I was missing some shots in the lane. Missing some layups. But the thing about me, I keep coming at it. I keep coming back. Believing in myself, trusting in my work and I was able to make a few (in) the second half. We were playing for pride. We kept fighting. We made it a game.”
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