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Heat Close Out First-Half Of Season Against OKC

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat will end the first half of the 2012-2013 NBA season Thursday night with another NBA Finals rematch with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Heat will finish the first-half of the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and playing some of the best basketball of the season. Everything the Heat has been doing right in the last few weeks starts with LeBron James.

Heading into the All-Star break, LeBron is all alone atop the leaderboard for the NBA Most Valuable Player award. LeBron has recorded six straight games with at least 30 points and shooting at least 60 percent from the floor.

It’s all part of the continuing maturation of James’ game. He is not forcing shots like he did in the past and it’s paying off in win after win for the Heat during the first-half of the season.

“It’s really fun. I think both teams accept the challenge,” James said of the Heat vs. Thunder series. “Both teams also know it doesn’t define the season, win, lose, or draw. I think both teams want to continue to get better and end on a high not going into the break.”

The Heat comes in to the game on a six game winning streak, which has not surprisingly coincided with LeBron’s prolific play. Oklahoma City was on a roll with four straight wins by at least 20 points before Utah blew out the Thunder on Tuesday night.

The Thunder, overall, is 39-13 on the season. The Heat is 35-14 on the season and owns one regular season win over the Thunder this season last Christmas Day, 103-97.

Miami and Oklahoma City will tip-off Thursday night at 8 p.m. and the game can be seen on TNT.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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