NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 23 22 34 29 108
Oklahoma City 21 33 23 17 94
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT1:00 , February 22, 2021
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Heat's visit to Thunder will complete bonding road trip

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. The Heat have won three of their last four against Oklahoma City, including a 118-90 win in Miami on January 4. Miami has not gone 2-0 against the Thunder in a single season since the 2012-13 campaign.
  2. The Heat have won back-to-back games after dropping the previous three, including a 96-94 win at the defending champion Lakers on Saturday. It was just the Heat's third win against a team .500 or better this season as their 3-12 mark against those teams is better than just Chicago (2-10), Minnesota (3-15) and Orlando (1-11).
  3. Kendrick Nunn scored 27 points in Miami's win at the Lakers on Saturday, including shooting 5-for-6 from behind the arc. Fifteen of those 27 points were scored in the opening quarter, the highest-scoring quarter of his career.
  4. Oklahoma City ended a three-game losing streak with a 117-101 win over the Cavs on Sunday. The Thunder are just 3-8 following wins this season, better only than Detroit (1-6) and Minnesota (1-7).
  5. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points in Oklahoma City's win over the Cavs on Sunday, his fourth 30-point game this season. Gilgeous-Alexander is the only Thunder player to break the 30-point mark this season, one of three teams to not have multiple 30-point scorers (Grizzlies, Spurs).
  6. The Thunder are averaging 9.4 second chance points per game, last in the NBA, on 7.7 offensive rebounds per game, second fewest in the league. Miami is averaging 9.7 second chance points per game, second fewest in the league, on 7.2 offensive rebounds per game, last in the NBA.

The Miami Heat's turnaround started a bit before their current seven-game road trip.

But heading into the trip finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night in Oklahoma City, Heat players, as well as head coach Erik Spoelstra, say the road journey has been a turning point.

"When we're at home we can't really see each other," Bam Adebayo said. "We're in the hotel now, we're traveling together on the plane, getting to talk to one another and really getting that cohesive brotherhood again that we had last year. It's great for us and we just got to keep building from here.

The Heat are 3-3 on the trip, including victories in their last two games. The trip is tied for the longest in franchise history.

Since starting 7-14, Miami is 6-3 to improve to 13-17.

And the Heat have done it while dealing with a variety of injuries.

"I think, without a doubt, this is one of the best segments of the season for us," Spoelstra said. "We've made big strides I think in the last eight, nine days of this trip and we've dealt with some adversity together. I think that's always good for our group."

While the Heat are still working through those injuries, the Thunder are starting to get healthy after a series of injuries that left Oklahoma City without an active point guard for several games.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is coming off the best of his three games since his return from missing four consecutive contests with a left knee sprain.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and had nine assists in Sunday's victory at Cleveland.

The return of Gilgeous-Alexander and backup point guard Theo Maledon, who has recently moved into the starting lineup alongside Gilgeous-Alexander, has helped the Thunder become more efficient.

"Transition offense is the big weapon that we have with the guards that we have that are so aggressive getting downhill and putting pressure on," center Mike Muscala said. "Then you're getting free throws, which adds to that efficiency, and getting layups and dunks and then you're getting 3-point shots."

Oklahoma City has averaged 25 free-throw attempts per game over their last four, nearly five per game better than its season average.

The Thunder are still trying to translate that aggressiveness into victories. Oklahoma City dropped six of its last eight.

In their first meeting between the teams, Jan. 4 at Miami, the Heat dominated in a 118-90 win with a balanced scoring effort. Adebayo had 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Oklahoma City shot just 36.7 percent from the field.

The Thunder's bench, which scored 42 points in Sunday's win, shot just 31.4 percent in the previous meeting.

The Heat are likely to be without Goran Dragic once again, but the guard figures to return soon after missing the last eight games with a sprained left ankle. Dragic has played in just three games since Jan. 25.

Miami could be without Tyler Herro as well.

Herro is listed as questionable after not playing in the second half of Saturday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers following a right hip contusion.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 22, 2021

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