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Heat 104, Thunder 94

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm •  Published: January 19, 2009

Observations, news and notes from Sunday night’s game…. 

 * The story behind Desmond Mason and Wade getting into it in the first half Sunday night? Mason didn’t appreciate Wade jawing at him. After Wade hit a jumper at one end, Mason was telling a ref Wade pushed off as the two jogged back down the court. Wade chimed in and began telling the ref he didn’t push off. Mason then turned to Wade and told him he did push off. It seemed like friendly competitive banter, but Mason is an intense player and wasn’t having it. Then again, Wade could have said some other things under his breath that I couldn’t hear from my press seat.<p>* Good effort by the Thunder for the most part but disappointing result considering Shawn Marion wasn’t in the lineup.

* Did the Thunder get fat and happy after winning two straight? Kevin Durant thinks so. “I think the success we had the last to games made us come out a little dead in the first half and it cost us,” he said. * I thought the play of the game was Mario Chalmers’ 3-pointer with 6:57 remaining. He pushed Miami’s lead back to eight after the Thunder had clawed back from a 13-point deficit, overcoming two consecutive jumpers from Dwyane Wade that were big.

* Here’s an idea: make it a point to get Jeff Green going offensively at the start of games. He scored 10 first-quarter points tonight but found his rhythm by making hustle plays and being aggressive. But why not start off the game going to him? Durant is going to get his whenever. Same for Russell Westbrook. Green, however, has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle or focus on other areas a little too much at times at the expense of his offense. Going to him early in the game can maximize the chances of having three solid scorers each night.

* The Thunder played Wade about as well as you can. You live with 32 points on 28 shot attempts.

* It was the other five Heat players in double figures that burned OKC, none of them named Michael Beasley.

* Nenad Krstic went 3-for-9 from the field. It’s clear he still isn’t in rhythm.</p>* Heat coach Erik Spoelstra mentioned how tough it is to play inside the Ford Center at least three times in his post game press conference. “I am glad we don’t have to play here again,” Spoelstra said.

* OKC did a good job of playing defense without fouling for the second straight game. Miami attempted just 14 free throws, and Wade went to the line only twice.

* We’re starting to see Kevin Durant’s playmaking skills develop. He had five assists tonight, the eighth time in the past 14 games he’s finished with at least four. Look out when he becomes a threat as a passer.

* Westbrook and fellow rookie Mario Chalmers were battling all night. Chalmers lived up to his billing as a pest on defense, limiting Westbrook to a 4-for-12 shooting night and coming up with a game-high three steals. But I bet he won’t try to take a charge on Westbrook again.

* It’s too bad Westbrook won’t be in the dunk contest. He continues turning heads, however. “When you see Westbrook in person, I mean you see him on film and he’s blowing by guards. And then you see him personally and that’s a whole other gear he’s got,” said Spoelstra.

* More praise for the Thunder by Spoelstra: “Kevin Durant, he just seems like he’s growing every time I see him. He’s virtually unstoppable and can get a shot off whenever he wants…and he’s poised. He already seems like a four or five-year vet.

* If only Spoelstra showed his own young gun the same love. Beasley scored just four points with four rebounds in 10 foul-plagued minutes that characterized much of what this season has been for the No. 2 overall pick. You sort of feel bad for the small Kansas State contingent in the crowd rooting for Beasley in his lone trip to OKC.


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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