NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 16th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (20-18) at Oklahoma City Thunder (21-18), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will wrap up a six-game western road trip tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Ford Center.
Miami has won two straight and improved to 3-2 on the road swing after Friday's 115-106 triumph at Houston thanks to superstar Dwyane Wade's 37 points on a balky wrist. Wade also handed out eight assists and Rafer Alston added 17 points for the Heat, who are 9-8 away from south Florida this season.
"They came out playing very well in the beginning getting out to the quick lead, but we stuck with it. The second quarter, we played aggressive defense forcing them into turnovers and turning those into points which was huge. My job was to get my teammates involved in the second half and continue that momentum. The Rockets are a team that can score in spurts and we made sure to not let that happen in the second half," Wade said.
Jermaine O'Neal chipped in 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Quentin Richardson tallied 15 points and Michael Beasley 12 in a winning effort.
The Thunder will try to put the clamps on a two-game losing streak when they entertain the Heat tonight. Oklahoma City is coming off Friday's 99-98 loss at Dallas in which Kevin Durant scored 30 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds. The franchise hasn't won in Dallas since December 9, 2004.
Russell Westbrook posted 18 points and six assists, while Jeff Green and James Harden each had 11 points in defeat.
"We're close, but we just need to continue to keep battling and getting better," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "We had some stretches there in the early fourth quarter that wasn't good basketball, but you can't play perfect basketball. But our effort has been perfect and I'm proud of them."
Oklahoma City is 11-9 as the host this season thanks to Durant, who is averaging nearly 34 points (33.8 ppg) in his last four contests.
Durant and the Thunder beat Miami, 100-87, on the road back on November 17 to snap a three-game slide in the series. The Heat are unbeaten in the last four meetings as the visitor.
01/16 10:42:28 ET