HEAT Outlasts Thunder in Finals Rematch
By: Pedro Heizer
The Oklahoma City Thunder met the Defending NBA Champions at the American Airlines Arena on Christmas day in a rematch of the NBA Finals from this past June.
Just like the series this past June, this matchup had everything an NBA fan wanted to see: big momentum shifts, big plays by big stars and a whole lot of energy. If you’ve got the game recorded, save it and rewatch it over and over again. It was that fun. Then again, what isn’t fun with players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Bosh?
The 103-97 victory was the HEAT’s fifth straight win over the Thunder dating back to Game 2 of the NBA Finals. and the win pushed Miami to 19-6 on the season.
LeBron James messed around and almost got a triple-double.
James scored 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out nine assists to lead the Heat while Mario Chalmers finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and Dwyane Wade added 21 points and five rebounds.
Chris Bosh added 16 points and six rebounds, and Mike Miller scored six in the victory to put him over the 10,000-point plateau for his career.
On the other side of the coin, Kevin Durant dropped 33 points to lead all scorers and also added seven rebounds, while Russell Westbrook recorded a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The Heat came out flying, opening a quick 13-2 lead after making six of their first seven shots. But Oklahoma City put their feet on the ground and made this one of the most entertaining games for the Miami Heat so far this season.
Game MVP: LeBron James
LeBron James seriously plays at another level. The LeBron James of tonight’s victory looked a lot like the LeBron James of the NBA Finals in June. James finished with 29 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, three steals and a block. He was the driving force behind the HEAT’s offense and played terrific defense.
Lights Out: Mario Chalmers
Chalmers had 12 points, matching his season high, in the opening quarter alone. Rio erupted for a season-high 20 points. This was a game Chalmers needed. He had been struggling with his shot most of the season. After knocking down a few early shots, it did wonders for his confidence. “I got going early,” Chalmers said, “and I stuck with it.”
Number of the Night: 10,000 and 100%
Mike Miller surpassed 10,000 career points. He now has 10,005.
The Miami HEAT as a team were 100% from the charity stripe, the second-best effort in franchise history behind only a 30-for-30 game in Boston on March 24, 1993.