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article imageNBA: Heat’s Big 3 return to get clutch win over Thunder in OKC

By Kristofor Molson     Jan 30, 2011 in Sports
Oklahoma City - The Thunder has been having amazing close games their last five games and today for the ABC “NBA Sunday Showcase” kickoff, they did not disappoint. The Heat has not been at full strength, but they all played today.
The Miami Heat (33-14) came in to Oklahoma City off a close game against the Detroit Pistons (17-30) 88 – 87 on Friday night. The Heat has not been playing at full strength with Chris Bosh dealing with a high ankle sprain and Dwayne Wade suffering from migraines and a sore wrist. Today was the first time all three have been on the court since January 12.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder (30-17) came in averaging 34.4 points and 11 rebounds over the last five games and kept it going today scoring 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The NBA leading scorer had a great game today even hitting a key shoot with 34.3 seconds left in the game to push the Thunder ahead 103 – 102. Jeff Green added 23 points and 11 rebounds, with Russell Westbrook scoring 21 with 10 assist.
The Thunder could not get much help from other players with Daequan Cook being the only other player to score in double digits with 13 points. Even without the help the OKC Trio still managed to keep it close down the stretch.
The Miami’s Big 3 had an outstanding game with Wade leading the charge scoring 32 points and 9 rebounds but also had 9 turnovers to only 2 assist. LeBron James was the second leading scorer with 23 points, and had 13 assist, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks to cap another stat heavy night. Bosh finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds, but the guy who won the game for them came off the bench late to seal it for the Heat.
The Heat went into halftime with a 64 – 61 lead and talked about coming out and playing defense in the second half.
The Heat had no answer for Westbrook and Durant who came out to take charge of the third quarter with a spectacular drive and dunk by Westbrook that made the OKC crowd erupt. Westbrook crossed over at the top of the key, and then came down an open lane to smash a one-handed dunk while Bosh could do nothing but duck out of his way. The Thunder ended the third quarter with the game tied at 85 going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter the Heat clamped down a little but Durant was still able to get his shoot off. Wade pushed the lead up to eight with 5:51 left in the game with a jump shot. The Thunder then went on a 13 – 4 run sparked by a Serge Ibaka block on Wade and a Green layup. After Durant and Westbrook hit some key free-throws late in the quarter the Thunder had the lead down to one.
With the game on the line and 34.4 left down 102 to 101, Durant came off of a screen and caught the ball off a Green pass and rose up and knocked down a 19-foot jump shoot to give the Thunder the lead late.
The Heat then called a timeout and brought Eddie House into the game. On the inbound, Wade took a jumper that hits off the rim and Mike Miller grabs the rebound. Miller then kicks it over to James and then passed it to House who knocks down a big three to give the Heat the lead back at 105 to 103.
Durant had the chance to tie it with a jumper but missed it from 7-feet out and Wade grabbed the rebound after Nick Collison knocked it back out. Wade then took off down the court only to get fouled by Cook with nine seconds left in the game.
Wade would make one and miss the second but Collison knocked the ball out of bounds to give it back to the Heat after a officials review. Wade and House both shoot free-throws at the end of the game to push Heat’s lead to five and finish the game with a victory 108 – 103.
The Miami’s Big 3 combined for 75 points, and all of them scored over 20 together for the eleventh time this season. The Thunder’s Trio combined for 77 points to outscore Miami’s, but the bench was key in a win for the Heat.
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