Russell Westbrook

whitesideThe hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Miami Heat 97-85 on Monday.

The Thunder (6-1) now sit atop the Western Conference as they continue their scorching-hot start to the season. Despite pre-season projections expecting a major drop-off for OKC following Kevin Durant’s signing with the rival Golden State Warriors.

The Thunder have looked dominant through the first two weeks of the season. On Monday, the team continued the trend, getting off to a quick start with a 39-point first quarter.

While Miami was able to whittle the double-digit lead down a bit, OKC came out even stronger in the third quarter, going on a 20-0 run to take control of the game. All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook scored or assisted on all 20 points during the run. Westbrook had a double-double 14 points and 11 assists. Enes Kanter top scored with 24 points and he had 10 points for his own double-double. American-Nigerian Victor Oladipo also had a good game as he finished with 17 points.

The Heat (2-4), meanwhile, are playing more or less as projected, holding a sub-.500 record following the departure of Dwyane Wade and the likely end of All-Star Chris Bosh’s playing career.

Miami’s starting five struggled badly, combining for just 35 points on the night. Recently re-signed center Hassan Whiteside scored just five, though he did manage a team-high 12 rebounds. Rebounding was not enough, however, as the team fell flat on the offensive end, shooting just 36 percent from the field.

The Thunder will host the Raptors on Thursday, while the Heat will return to Miami to host the Bulls on Friday.

by Oscar Heanue for

First appeared on Global


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