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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (The Sports Xchange) — Forward Kevin Durant scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 99-74 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Guard Russell Westbrook racked up back to back triple doubles with 13 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. It was fifth triple double of the season. Forward Serge Ibaka added 19 points and seven boards while guard Dion Waiters came off the bench to score 18 points as the Thunder improved to 30-12.
Guard Dwyane Wade was a game time decision for Heat. He ended up leading them in scoring with 22 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Guard Tyler Johnson scored 16and center Hassan Whiteside posted 14 points at the Heat dropped to 23-18.
Thunder Coach Billy Donovan said the best way to with a shot blocker like center Hassan Whiteside is to attack him and if he doesn’t get the block that opens up offensive rebounding opportunities. His players followed the game plan and did just that from the outset.
The Thunder took control of the game early. Whether it was layups, lobs or fastbreaks, the attacked the rim and the Heat’s defense.
Seeing they had an advantage up front, Donovan put center Enes Kanter and Steven Adams in the game at the same for one of the rare times this season. While the duo were ineffective on offense, their presence forced the Heat to the perimeter.
Despite that, Wade was able to find success with his mid-range game as he scored 18 to keep the Heat within two points of the Thunder at halftime.
Turnovers plagued the Heat throughout the night. Those miscues led to a 22-8 Oklahoma City run to start the third quarter.
Miami didn’t help its cause by going stone cold from the field. They shot only 8 of 19 in the third quarter and found themselves trailing 75-58 and never made a game of it after that.
The 74 points Oklahoma City allowed is a new season low.
NOTES: Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant said perception that he has something against the media is wrong. “I’ve seen over the last couple of days, or couple of years, actually, that I hate the media,” Durant said. “I actually do love you guys. If I hated someone, I wouldn’t talk to them, I wouldn’t interact with them, I wouldn’t laugh and joke with them, I wouldn’t talk about anything other than what you guys ask me.” … Miami F Hassan Whiteside was asked about his upcoming free agency, which starts when the season ends. “I want to go to a team that’s about winning,” Whiteside said, “that has a good understanding of what it takes to win and a good city with a good fan base.”