The ninth sellout crowd of the season saw why some believe Dwyane Wade is a viable MVP candidate.
Wade, who owns two of the top four performances against the Thunder this season, scored 32 points to lead Miami to a 104-94 win Sunday night at the Ford Center.
"Dwyane Wade obviously had a Dwyane-like game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "One thing our guys did well was contest his shots. He’s a guy that made some tough shots. That’s why he’s a special player. He makes a lot of shots you really can’t defend.”
Desmond Mason, Oklahoma City’s top defensive player, guarded Wade most of the game. The game plan was to force Wade to settle for jump shots, keep Wade out of the lane and off the free throw line.
"He took 28 shots to get 32 points,” Mason said. "If he makes jump shots, he makes jump shots. A lot of their other guys had big games tonight. They hit 11 treys... We can live with (Wade scoring 32), but we can’t let six guys be in double figures.”
Wade scored 18 points in the first quarter, then helped the Heat build a 14-point third-quarter lead. Oklahoma City made one run — closing to within 90-85 with 7:25 remaining — but Wade spent much of the final seven minutes dishing out 10 assists to thwart the Thunder’s rally.
"He’s a phenomenal player,” said Kevin Durant. "He gets those guys going every night. He’s always tough driving the basketball. Once he knocks down that jump shot he’s unstoppable. He came out on fire tonight and made it tough.