Thunder rally in second-half, down Heat 128-120

Heat Thunder
The Thunder outscored the Heat by 12 in the second half. (Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports)

The Miami Heat possessed a four-point lead at halftime over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half with both teams playing very high octane offense. But the Thunder didn’t look back after an 11-0 run to open the second half, earning the 128-120 victory.

The Heat, losers of now four of their last six, were confined to 33.3 percent shooting in the second half–6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from 3-point range–including 8-of-23 inside the restricted area and 2-of-7 at the rim. Oklahoma City, who sported an effective field goal percentage of 67.4 percent, their fifth-best mark this season (per Cleaning The Glass), converted on 51.1 percent of its attempts, including 14-of-22 in the paint (1-of-1 at rim).

Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 25 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, shooting 9-of-16 from the floor. Haywood Highsmith tallied a career-high 19 points, knocking down 5-of-7 from beyond the arc with five rebounds.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 21 points and five rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting, while Tyler Herro finished with 17 points, though struggling in the second half with his shot selection and efficiency, missing nine of his 11 shot attempts (going 7-of-21 overall).

Nikola Jovic, who started his fourth consecutive game, popped yet again. He tallied 15 points five rebounds, four assists with a steal and a block in 33 minutes, finishing in the fourth quarter above Josh Richardson and Duncan Robinson, who struggled shooting (1-8 FG, 1-7 3PT) Wednesday.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 27 points and eight assists, converting on 11 of his 17 shot attempts while dishing gout eight assists. Chet Holmgren, who’s arguably the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, had 23 points with nine rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting.

Jalen Williams posted a 19-point, 12-assist double-double–his second straight game with double-digit assists, setting a new season-high. Luguentz Dort had 14 rebounds with a pair of 3s in 26 minutes.

Miami’s inability to get stops and allow Oklahoma City to shoot nearly 60 percent (59.3 percent) from the floor–scoring 60 in the paint(30-40; 75%)–were the biggest culprits as to why it dropped to 21-16 Wednesday, though losing its rhythm and connectivity over the final 24 minutes didn’t help, either.

Wednesday’s win improves the Thunder to 25-11, including 11-6 away from home, and 0.5 game out of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Miami drops to the No. 7 seed in the ultra-tight back-end of the East, tied with the Orlando Magic and a half-game back of Cleveland for the No. 6 seed.

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oregoner

if Heat fans are still bummed about the results of last nights game, take a look at tonight’s scoreboard and see how the Blazers held up against the Thunder after OKC flew across the country for the second night of a back-to-back

SunManFromDogBone

OKC’s defense killed them. OKC is an outstanding example of a quality rebuilding process. They have depth and assets. 4 first round picks in 2024. The two highest Portland scorers (Simmons and Henderson) were 8-34 and had 27 points combined. Jerami Grant had 9 points. Portland’s rebuild sucks. Cronin should be fired. Oh well, that’s their problem.

oregoner

After all the talk about how “awful” the Heat package was, they traded Dame for Time Lord, Malcom Brogden, and a handful of draft picks. My kids have both lost interest in the Blazers. It’s a total bummer

Big_guy305

Better tell them come to the heat side, we have a better organization with a brighter future.

vagibugi

Well, I admit that I visit their site from time to time.
Something like that couldn’t happen in Miami…

Bout30man

Truth was, we played great against OKC, even with a diminished line-up. But, OKC just kept making shots. At some point we finally got cold and they never did. That was a lesson a lot of NBA cities are learning, that the Thunder are putting something very good together.

Alien

On the flip side, the “injuries” have given Spo the opportunity to give some players more playing time. Otherwise, would have been a difficult decision for Spo to make and for those players asked to sit out difficult to swallow. All is good.

Big_guy305

Injuries suck, but I agree now some of our younger players can get more pt, like jovic. The minutes he’s getting is good for his developmental progress. Right now we’re getting a sneak peek of how the future will be with bam and jovic Starting together in the front court. The passing skills between these two is crazy when you think about 2 point forwards in the Starting lineup. Also jovic D is getting better each game like herro and Robinson, but the difference is he has the potential to be a better defender then them with his size and length.

Alien

Agree only that some want to win now.

SunManFromDogBone

Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Thomas Bryant and a pick for
Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward (expiring) and Miles Bridges (expiring).

Reality Czech

Objective response by Ira on Herro:
Ira, please explain Tyler Herro to me. I want to love him (OK, I do). But some of those shot attempts . . . What do the coaches say to him? – David.
A: There is a certain acceptance when you have a player who can convert what otherwise would be bad shots. Tyler Herro hit a few of those early on Wednesday night against the Thunder, so you sort of ride with it. But this rollercoaster of scoring the past three games is why there remains concern about Tyler as a go-to player at closing time (and why the Heat continue to miss Jimmy Butler). Weaning Tyler off the bad shots would be one thing. But he still has to find a way to score when needed, not the scoreless fourth quarter he put together against the Thunder, when Bam Adebayo and Jaime Jaquez Jr. were the only Heat players to score in the period. Just a year ago, the fourth quarters were all about Tyler. He and the Heat need to get back to that, especially in the games that Jimmy misses.”

SunManFromDogBone

I think Tyler feels that he is the one who must carry the weight of the team on his back while Butler is out. He also probably feels he must demonstrate he is worth keeping rather than trading after the Dame episode. That’s a lot of pressure. He wants so bad to be the “go to guy” on the Heat. Unfortunately, he is not that guy. Until/unless he can demonstrate the maturity to produce when the pressure is on, he will always be the “expendable one” among the team’s top 3 players (Bam, Butler and Herro). The truly great players are not the ones who can produce great stats during the meaningless games, they are the ones who can produce results when games are on the line. This is especially true during the playoffs. Herro has a way to go before he becomes “that guy.” Meanwhile, if a really good trade opportunity comes along…

Bout30man

I see it this way too. There are a lot of players who can score all game but can’t make a bucket with five minutes left in a close game. Ty could become one of those guys, but unlikely, as part of it is you have to draw a lot of contact and get some free throws also to be effective late. Basically, you have to do what Jimmy does. It’s no shame in not being Jimmy, there are some really good players who can’t score in crunch time.

oregoner

this is what i’ve been saying recently. Tyler has gotten better in a lot of ways, but this team really needs a reliable bucket getter, especially in the fourth quarter, and Tyler just hasn’t been it

Reality Czech

The thing is, as Ira alludes to, is that last season, Herro was one of the better 4th quarter players in the league. He needs to get back to that.

oregoner

yeah, i’m not ready to give up on him yet. but he certainly has to be better. ironically, after all the complaining about him being a player that can’t do anything but score, he’s gotten better at everything else, and now his scoring is the problem!

Reality Czech

Well, not scoring, but scoring at the right moment, when the Heat need it most.

heat for life

hes to inconsistent been that way his whole heat history.

Reality Czech

Hoops Hype just listed their top 25 players under 25 years old. Herro is #21.
2023-24 stats: 22.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 42.0 3P%
Posting his best NBA season to this point, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, 23, is averaging a career-high in nightly points, rebounds, assists and steals as well as in three-point accuracy, an even more impressive feat considering how tumultuous his offseason was with rumors surrounding a potential offseason trade out of Miami for Herro.
Herro has always been a confident player but that confidence is being rewarded more than ever in 2023-24, as the former Kentucky standout has been deadly with his off-the-dribble midrange shooting and as a three-point marksman.
Herro has been a large reason why Miami is enjoying a much stronger regular season than it had last year and if he keeps up this level of play, the Heat will continue to be a very tough out come playoff time.”
Oh, guess what, they don’t work for the Heat.
You’ll be happy to know Jaquez was at #20.

heat for life

iras a beat writer he has to watch what he says.has to go into the locker room always throwing soft ball questions at spo to start at his press conf.the best guy for heat info ethan skolnick not affiliated with the heat very knowledgeable about the game and tells it like it is doesnt sugar coact it.

Reality Czech

That, again, is your bizarre perception. I’ve read his columns for more than 30 years and he has been very critical at times. Not sure what you’re reading, including this q/a, which is critical of Herro. There is nothing in his answer here that isn’t true.
All of the tv guys have also criticized schemes and players at one time or another. I’ve actually pointed it out during games a few times recently, adding that, no, they’re not getting fired for their opinions.
Reminds me of what Toronto Coach Darko said about the refs a couple of days ago – they see only what they want to see. That’s what you often do as well. Though I’m a Herro fan, I’m as quick to point out when he had a bad sequence or game as when he does well. It’s why I posted this q/a which is critical of his recent performance. It’s called being objective.

Last edited 1 month ago by Reality Czech
vagibugi

Those are two similar teams, speaking of ball movement.
This game was lost in defence.
I like what I saw from our young players and Love.
The future is really bright.

Bout30man

37 games into the season I cannot recall a single game where the other teams injury list was longer than ours. In fact, most teams are missing one player or none, and the rest of their injury list are GLeaguers., while our list is usually three players long, sometimes more. What is going on with all the unavailables? We are surely the league leaders.

Bout30man

We have, 37 games in, missed 124 man games, an average of almost 3.5 a game. If anyone can look up the other teams stats, it would be interesting to know where we stand.

Just some guy

Hahaha, sucks to be a heat fan! Y’all getting everything that y’all deserve with the entitlement that’s shown. Y’all would be just as trash with Dame. He wasn’t your savior. No one could be. Y’all trash and old.

oregoner

lol. Being a Heat fan rules. Not sure if you’re a Thunder fan, but it must really suck to get so excited about a regular season win. I guess if your team has only made the Finals once, and never won a title because you got embarrassed by the Heat, winning a regular season game in January feels important. Do you man, congratulations

vagibugi

No, it doesn’t. And if you are a Thunder fan, why don’t you just enjoy watching play your excellent team. I did, and I m a Heat fan.

Reality Czech

Yeah, we’re really upset. What a jackass! Lol!

SunManFromDogBone

Get a life dude. Heat fans rule. We don’t rebuild…we just re-tool. Best coach in the NBA!
GO HEAT!!!

Belacqua

‘Just some guy’, eh? Grats on the W, bud. Some might call it ‘just some game’ in mid January, though your hype tells me you had this one circled on the calendar for some reason lol

Fr tho, your young guys are playing great this year. Good luck w the rest of the season

Big_guy305

Just a dumb troll that doesn’t know anything, go back to your thunder blog or whatever dumpster you crawled out of.

Alien

Your moniker says it all.

Bout30man

I know we gave them a decent game. But, this season is the year of injuries. We don’t even know where we stand anymore. There are so many players missing that it is ruining the season. I doubt we will ever be fully healthy this year. And, one thing is for sure, if we don’t have a full squad, we aren’t that good.

oregoner

it’s a long season. There is plenty of time for the vets to get healthy. And the extra playing time for the young guys might prove to be valuable down the line. Don’t give in to despair just yet

oregoner

Really fun game, the Heat just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.

The two-big lineup is starting to get more run, and it looks really good. I like it a lot better than the 3-guard lineup. It will be interesting to see if they stay with it once Jimmy and Caleb are back.

Speaking of things that will interesting to see with the full squad, Jovic looks incredible. That dude can really ball. But it will be tough to find minutes for him once the Heat have Bam, Caleb, and Love all available to play PF/C, plus Highsmith, Jimmy, and Jamie in small-ball lineups. Regadless, that dude has proven he’s a player, and should continue to get minutes over Orlando and Bryant.

My one complaint: Tyler still not looking great. I’ve never been a “trade Herro” guy, but he just hasn’t been the guy you can rely on when you need a bucket. His defense is better. His passing is better. He’s continuing to improve, and he’s still young. But if the Heat want to go deep into the playoffs this year, they might need an upgrade at shooting guard.

Last edited 1 month ago by oregoner
SunManFromDogBone

Rough game against a very good young team without Butler, Martin and Lowry. Game in OKC should be wild.

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