Russell Westbrook played a season-low 24 minutes on Thursday night.
And for the near future, Thunder fans should get used to it. That's by design.
Before the game, coach Scott Brooks talked of a game plan to limit Westbrook's minutes and potentially rest him all together on back-to-backs during the second half of the season.
“That's something that we will read as the days go by,” Brooks said.
Westbrook said against Miami, the plan was to get him about 25 minutes.
“Minute restriction to start off, which is totally fine with me,” Westbrook said. “Doctors and the training staff talked about that and it's fine with me.”
Also, the upcoming schedule plays into Westbrook's advantage. OKC's next five games are at home, with two days off in between each of the next two.
Westbrook had 16 points, five rebounds and three steals against the Heat, looking rusty at times, but like his old self during spurts.
LEBRON SHOOTS DOWN RIVALRY TALK
Many have already billed the Thunder-Heat as a budding rivalry.
LeBron James disagrees. And he's got an example and some stats to back that up.
“It's hard to say rivalry when you see North Carolina and Duke,” James said pregame. “North Carolina and Duke have played 85 times, and North Carolina has outscored them by two points in 85 meetings and North Carolina is 43-42, I believe in the all-time series. That's a rivalry. This isn't a rivalry.”
PERKINS LEAVES EARLY
Early in the third quarter, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins got caught up on a screen and came up limping.
The initial diagnosis was a left groin strain. He did not return.
“I haven't got a chance to talk to our staff yet,” Brooks said of Perkins. “We'll see.”
QUIET DEADLINE FOR THUNDER
The trade deadline came and went Thursday afternoon and, other than a few minor rumors, it remained quiet in Oklahoma City.
And really, across the league, it was a relatively uneventful deadline. No Western Conference contender made a major acquisition.
The biggest move came at the last minute out East, with Indiana shipping oft-injured swingman Danny Granger to Philadelphia for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen.
SOONERS IN THE HOUSE
OU football coach Bob Stoops and his wife Carol were seated courtside for the Thunder-Heat game on Thursday night, right near OKC's bench and right next to owner Clay Bennett.
And another Sooner legend, former running back Adrian Peterson, was spotted in the tunnel postgame, chatting with some Heat players.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Thunder's 22-point loss was its worst home defeat since April 2009, its inaugural season in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder has two days off before another nationally televised game. OKC plays the Clippers at home on Sunday. It's a noon tip on ABC. Los Angeles is 37-19 right now.