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Oklahoma City Thunder: Miami Heat routs OKC in Russell Westbrook's return

LeBron James scored 33 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a bloody nose and the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-81 on Thursday night.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 20, 2014

Be it the weeklong layoff due to the All-Star break, or the long-anticipated return of Russell Westbrook, the Thunder simply wasn't as sharp as it had been while winning 15 of its previous 17 contests.

OKC committed nine turnovers in the opening quarter and watched those transform into 14 Heat points. The early struggles continued throughout, as the Thunder finished with 20 turnovers that resulted in 25 Heat points.

In the Thunder's 17-point win at Miami on Jan. 29, OKC turned the ball over only 16 times and benefited from the Heat having 21 giveaways.

“Offensively, we were out of sync,” Brooks said. “We turned the ball over too many times … We didn't have a good rhythm in this game.”

Sensational 3-point shooting by the Thunder also didn't carry over from the first meeting into Thursday. Oklahoma City's 16-for-27 clip at Miami didn't seem sustainable, but no one anticipated the drop off to be as bad as it was, a 2-for-20 clip in round two.

“It was a combination of rust and bad decision-making,” said Westbrook. “Our first game after the break is always a little slow. But no excuses. We'll get it together.”

A lot is riding on it.

The Western Conference's top seed is still up for grabs and, after Thursday night, so is the league's MVP award.

Those closest to LeBron say he's coming for the hardware that up until now had belonged to Durant.

“We just don't want one guy, unless it's our guy, head and shoulders ahead in the race,” Bosh said.