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News » Thunder-Heat Preview

Thunder-Heat Preview

Thunder-Heat Preview
A successful western road trip has the Miami Heat returning home with a winning record.

The surging Heat look to go two games over .500 for the first time this season when they face the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night to open a three-game homestand.

Miami (10-9) beat undermanned Utah 93-89 on Wednesday for its second straight victory to conclude a 3-2 swing. Dwyane Wade overcame a migraine to finish with 23 points, five assists and five rebounds to help put the Heat in position to win three in a row for the first time this season.

"I was going to play. Anything I can do to help my guys and try to get a win," said Wade, the NBA's leading scorer (28.4 points per game), who's also averaging 32.3 points on 52.2 percent shooting in his last four contests.

Miami, which is five wins shy of matching its total from 2007-08, has won three of its last four contests. The Heat have a chance to continue their recent success with a pair of weak opponents in Oklahoma City (2-18) and Charlotte before closing the homestand against Atlanta.

Shawn Marion scored 15 points while Udonis Haslem had 11 and 13 rebounds on Wednesday for the Heat, who have held three of their last four opponents to fewer than 98 points.

Haslem is averaging 16.5 points and 10.7 boards in his last four games.

Miami will face the Thunder franchise for the first time since it moved from Seattle. The Heat have won five of the last six meetings between the clubs.

Wade had 31 points while Marion added 14 and 13 rebounds in Miami's 103-93 win over the SuperSonics on Feb. 29 in the teams' most recent contest. Wade has topped the 30-point mark in two of his last four games against the Thunder franchise.

Oklahoma City dropped its second straight game, 98-89 at Orlando on Friday to fall to 1-2 on a four-game road trip that began with a 111-103 win over Memphis last Saturday for its first road victory.

Russell Westbrook had 19 points with nine rebounds while Kevin Durant added 16 and 10 for his first double-double of the season for the Thunder, who are 1-9 on the road.

Though Oklahoma City continues to struggle, it managed to hang with one of the Eastern Conference's top teams for three quarters. The Thunder trailed by four heading into the fourth, but couldn't overcame the Magic making 10 of 16 3-pointers in the second half.

"We see ourselves getting closer," said Durant, who is averaging a team-leading 22.0 points. "To lose a game like this and know that we could have won it tough."

Durant was held to fewer than 20 points for the second time in his last seven contests. Durant averaged 21.0 points in two games versus Miami last season.

The rookie Westbrook, best known for his defense, is third on the team averaging 12.5 points and matched a career high against Orlando.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 6, 2008


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