The Thunder look to move over .500 for the first time this season when they visit the Heat. The Thunder had lost four straight road games, averaging 91.7 points on 35.1 percent shooting in the last three while losing by an average of 19.3 points before turning things around with a 127-99 win at Orlando last Sunday, making 25 of their first 32 field goal attempts en route to 79 first half points (their most since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City) and shooting 57.8 percent overall.
Oklahoma City also dominated offensively at home in their previous game, scoring 69 points in the first half and shooting 52.6 percent overall in Friday’s 127-115 win over Golden State. Kevin Durant finished with 36 points in that game while Russell Westbrook had 17 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds, with both of them resting in the final 15 minutes. Durant has shot 21 of 28 over the last two games. Other key players in those two games were Serge Ibaka and Dion Waiters. Ibaka scored 43 points while shooting 17-for-28 and Waiters scored a combined 37 on 15 of 25 shooting.
The Thunder were a season-worst 3-12 on November 23 while dealing with injuries to Durant and Westbrook, but now they can record just their second winning streak of more than two games this season.
Kevin Durant has averaged 33.5 points against the Heat over the past two seasons while shooting 50.0 percent, but Russell Westbrook has shot 30.6 percent with as many turnovers as assists (15).
The Heat are trying to get to .500 after winning four of their last six, giving up 89.2 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting. That stretch came after a four-game losing streak during which they allowed 106.5 points and 48.4 percent. They own a plus-4.8 rebounding margin in the past six after entering that stretch at minus-4.2.
Miami finished 3-2 in their recent road trip, which included a 14-point victory over the Clippers on January 11 and a 95-83 win at Sacramento on Friday. Chris Bosh led the way against the Kings with 30 points while Luol Deng added 25.
Dwyane Wade missed the last two games because of a strained left hamstring, and the Heat are 5-5 without him. Wade might be able to return against the Thunder after having three days off before the game. He finished with 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in a 103-81 win in Oklahoma City on February 20 that earned the Heat a split of last season’s series. Miami has won seven of the past eight meetings, including the final four games of the 2012 NBA Finals, when LeBron James was with the team.
The San Antonio Spurs have won three straight and will try to continue their fine form Tuesday night when they visit the Pepsi Center to face the Denver Nuggets.
The defending NBA champions have taken five of six, including two of three on the road. San Antonio will travel to Chicago to face the Bulls on Thursday,which ends this mini road trip and foreshadows a six-game homestand.
Denver’s most recent defeat was demoralizing to say the least. On Monday, the Nuggets stopped by Oracle Arena and left with a 122-79 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
The Spurs beat the Nuggets in Denver on Dec. 14 and have taken four straight between the two teams. San Antonio has won three in a row in the Mile High City.