OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Duncan Robinson scored 22 points and made six 3-pointers that the intense heat to a 108-94 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday evening in the finale of their seven-game road trip.
Robinson finished with a 3-pointer which gave the Heat a 94-77 lead in the middle of the closing stages. The Heat did it all to the five-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler in the last 12 minutes on the sidelines.
“It was great, just the excitement,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “I think these guys wanted to play well while he was on the bench and see if we can extend the lead.
“Then when we were taking that first break, I looked at Jimmy and Jimmy was in the crowd and he said, ‘Hey guys, carry on. Let’s give it another two or three minutes and see how it goes. ‘”
Spoelstra said Butler’s comments had energized the group, which maintained their double-digit lead and won the last three games of their trip 4-3.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points for the Thunder, who scored 63-40 points after halftime.
“I give them a lot of credit. They got out of half and we had to earn everything on both ends of the floor in the second half, ”said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault. “They simply outperformed us. … We definitely like to play against a team like this because we learn a lot about ourselves. They just survived us tonight. ”
The Heat made five of their first eight 3-point attempts. Max Strus The hot start ended with a 4:19 in the first quarter.
Miami missed its next 12 3-point shots. Robinson eventually ended the drought with a 31-foot jumper who had 43 seconds to break.
Meanwhile, the Thunder shot 54% off the ground in the first 24 minutes. Gilgeous-Alexander gave Oklahoma City a 54:45 half-time advantage and scored 18 points in 6-of-7 shooting. His only miss of the half came via a 27-foot step back when time ran out on the first period.
Miami responded with 34 points in the third quarter, taking the lead by less than a minute over 79-72. Gilgeous-Alexander rattled off five points in the final 31.6 seconds to get the Thunder into the finals within two points before Miami immediately inflated it.
heat:: Tyler Herro (Bruised right hip) was ruled out ahead of Monday’s game. According to Spoelstra, he is every day. … The Heat has not played at home since beating the New York Knicks on February 9th. … Jimmy Butler played in his 600th career game.
thunder:: Al Horford (Remainder) was not available for Oklahoma City’s second game in so many nights. Isaiah Roby began in Horford’s place. … The Thunder fell to 2-4 on the second game of a back-to-back. … Darius Bazley ended with 13 points on 5-of-9 and five rebounds.
END OF THE STREET
The Heat lost three games in a row before beating the Sacramento Kings on February 18, the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday and the Thunder on Monday. Adebayo traces the team’s time en route to the strong end of the group and the increased bond in the locker room.
“We got better,” said Adebayo. “I feel like it was one of those situations. It felt like a bubble again where we had the chance to stick together and feel like brothers again. … When we’re at home, we can’t really hang out with each other. So when you can be in the hotel and be safe, it feels like a bubble. ”
thunder: Hosted the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
heat: Hosted the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.