Enes Kanter scores 24 as Thunder beat Heat
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Enes Kanter had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat 97-85 on Monday night.
Kanter made 10 of 12 shots in 21 minutes off the bench. Victor OIadipo scored 17 points, rookie Domantas Sabonis had a season-high 15 to go with 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 14 points and 11 assists for the Thunder. Oklahoma City improved to 6-1, the best seven-game start for the franchise since moving to Oklahoma City in 2008.
Miami's Hassan Whiteside, who entered averaging 20 points and 14.2 rebounds, finished with five points on 1-for-9 shooting and 12 rebounds.
James Johnson led Miami with 18 points. The Heat shot just 36.9 percent from the field.
The Thunder led 55-47 at halftime, despite Westbrook's 2-for-10 shooting.
The Heat chopped their deficit down to four before Westbrook went off. He converted a three-point play, a mid-range jumper and a 3-pointer to spark a 20-0 run that put the game out of reach. The Thunder held Miami to 7-for-23 shooting in the third quarter to take an 83-61 lead at the end of the period.
Heat: Former Thunder player Dion Waiters was cheered loudly during pregame introductions. He scored two points on 1-for-9 shooting. … Whiteside had no points or rebounds in the first quarter. … Double technicals were called on Kanter and Miami's Josh Richardson in the third quarter after an altercation. Heat C Willie Reed was called for a flagrant foul on Kanter late in the third quarter.
Thunder: Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said before the game that reserve point guard Cameron Payne is healing from his broken right foot, but there remains no timetable for his return. … C Steven Adams banged his right thumb in the first quarter, but returned to play with it wrapped.
The Heat wore patches bearing the names of deceased military members on the front of their uniforms for the first time, a tribute that will continue for four more games. The “Home Strong” uniforms — which have been worn before, without the soldier-name patches — feature military insignia and patriotic symbols. Heat President Pat Riley founded the program to honor returning soldiers in 2006, and the franchise has been active with several veterans' programs since. “It's just a very small part that we can play in this, to let them know that their lives did have significance,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The Heat host former teammate Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
The Thunder will face one of the best teams in the East on Wednesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors.