MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Heat are looking to bounce back from a home loss to the Boston Celtics earlier this week.READ MORE: Suspected Shoplifter Shot By Police After Pulling Weapon At The Falls Shopping Center In SW Miami-Dade
The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to end their two-game road trip better than it started when they visit the Heat on Thursday.
The Thunder suffered a 106-100 loss at Atlanta in the opener of the trip to snap a four-game winning streak.
Monday’s setback dropped Oklahoma City to 3-4 on the road, though the loss was not without positives.
“We did some good things but I think there are some plays we would have liked to have gotten back,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “We certainly dug ourselves a hole and showed some resiliency and some fight to get ourselves back into the game.”
The Heat are one of the top defensive teams in the league but dropped two of the last three games while allowing an average of 104.5 points in the setbacks.
Miami allowed the Boston Celtics 57 first-half points in a 105-95 loss on Monday to fall to 8-3 at home.
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ABOUT THE THUNDER (11-7): Oklahoma City is still working to mold to Donovan’s system and hopes to benefit from having two consecutive days off on the road.
“Having two days before the Miami game, it was more film and trying to learn through film, trying to get better,” Donovan told reporters. “We gave them some individual skill and player development stuff.”
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 59 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists on Monday, but only two other players scored in double figures in the loss.
ABOUT THE HEAT (10-6): Miami had a problem with offensive balance on Monday as well, with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combining for 51 of the team’s 95 points.
“We just need more time to develop the trust, to move the ball and have trust in the pass,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “Those things we can get better at.”
Point guard Groan Dragic is trying to find his way in the offense and is averaging 10 points and 3.8 assists in the last five games.
- Heat C Hassan Whiteside averaged six points in the last two games after putting up 14.6 in the previous five.
- Thunder G Dion Waiters was limited to one point on Monday and is 2-of-13 from 3-point range over the last three games.
- Oklahoma City took both meetings last season while holding Miami to an average of 80.5 points.
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