|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAThe Thunder rolls into the Sunshine State tonight as Oklahoma City tips it off against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena beginning at 8:00ET. The game can be seen nationally on ESPN2.
After demolishing the Bulls on national television Sunday afternoon, the Thunder suffered a very disappointing defeat to Memphis on Monday 94-88. In that one, Kevin Durant had 21 points and Russell Westbrook netted 19 in the home loss. Although generally considered decent point totals, Durant and Westbrook were cold from the field, hitting a combined 36 percent of their shots and only 18 percent from beyond the arc.
The team as a whole shot just 39 percent and were 0 for 4 on the fast break. It was only the third time this year Oklahoma City was held to less than 90 points. The Thunder had 18 turnovers, with Westbrook contributing to that total with 5 miscues of his own. He did steal 3 back on the defensive end.
Oklahoma City (40-13) is holding on to the top spot in the Western Conference, leading the suddenly surging San Antonio Spurs by 2 games, but only one in the loss column. They are within 1 game of the East leading Chicago Bulls for the best record in the NBA.
It has been two different worlds for Miami (38-14) as far as their record in South Beach and away. They will be going for their 17th straight home win tonight. They are 22-2 at American Airlines Arena and 16-12 on the road. The Heat extended their home winning streak last night with a 99-93 victory over Philadelphia.
Dwayne Wade missed the game with a bruised knee and is questionable for tonight. That looms large, even though Miami is 9-1 in games he's missed You may recall even with Wade in the lineup, the Thunder beat the Heat handily, 103-87 on March 25. With their win against the Seventy Sixers, Miami has moved to within 2.5 games for the Eastern Conference top spot.
Miami is a 3 point home favorite, if you are willing to bet $110 to win $100. Another wager of $110 will be required for the over/under of 197.