In its 110-100 loss to Miami at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday, the Thunder never led and Miami dominated after a 7-7 tie in the first quarter.
The Heat took a double-digit lead with 3:43 left in the first quarter and stretched the margin to as many as 23.
OKC didn't pull within single-digits until Kevin Durant's final bucket of the game narrowed the deficit to 108-100 with 57.8 seconds left.
“A little bit of a strange ending,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “For the most part, our guys came out focused and did enough things to put ourselves in a position to win. At both ends, there was some very goof ball movement, trust plays. Just closing out the game, we weren't able to finish in much of a rhythm … I would have liked to close out the game better.”
BEASTS FROM EAST
Thursday's outcome snapped OKC's seven-game winning streak at home.
The Thunder is now 23-4 at home this season and three of those losses have come against Eastern Conference teams in Atlanta, Brooklyn and Miami.
OKC is 17-1 against Western Conference teams (Memphis being the lone loss) and 6-3 against the East.
TAKE A BREAK
Last Sunday, the Thunder (39-14) was riding a four-game winning streak and seemed primed to take a six-game winning streak into the All-Star break.
Instead, OKC limped to the break on a two-game losing streak (its longest of the season).
Meanwhile, Miami (36-14) rides a seven-game winning streak into the break.
Miami forward Shane Battier had both knees wrapped in ice and was soaking his right ankle in a large tub of ice water. Would Battier prefer to keep playing while the team is hot, or would be prefer a break?
“No, I'm ready for rest,” Battier said with a chuckle. “You need to get away. This is such a grind. You need to get away for a couple of days and recalibrate your mind and reflect on the first half and understand what's coming ahead, which is intensity and pressure.”
The Thunder's longest losing streak of the season is two games. It has now happened twice and both times has come compliments of the Heat.
Miami's 103-97 victory over OKC on Christmas Day came on the heels of the Thunder's 99-93 loss at Minnesota five days earlier.
Thursday's victory over OKC came on the heels of the Thunder's 109-94 loss at Utah on Tuesday.
OKC is now 11-2 after a loss this season and 46-11 after a loss the last three seasons.
Only two Thunder players scored in double digits – Durant scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 points and 10 assists. … OKC sixth man Kevin Martin had nine points and took just five shots 27 minutes. …
The Thunder, which had struggled at the free-throw line lately, converted 33 of 34 (.971). … Spotted in the crowd were All-Pro defensive lineman Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Bucs and college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. … There were two marriage proposals from fans on Valentine's Day night. Both ladies said yes. … OKC is now 3-3 on Thursdays and 4-3 in February. … In a tribute to breast cancer awareness, Thunder reserve guard Reggie Jackson wore pink shoes and Durant wore pink shoe laces. … Battier and Thunder owner Aubrey McClendon, two Duke graduates, chatted briefly at halftime.
Battier on how different the Thunder is from last year's Finals. “They're different. Obviously everything starts with KD (Durant) and Westbrook. Martin gives them a different dimension than (James) Harden did. They're different players, but both really good.”