This time, there was no slow start by the Thunder.
In Game 3 they got down 10-4 but came back with James Harden early and the result was a close first half, with the Heat leading much of the way but never coming close to pulling away.
It is 47-46 Heat at the half of what promises to be a barnburner of a second half.
Miami is doing their work inside — they are getting their shots in the paint but only shot 41 percent for the half. The key was they grabbed 10 offensive rebounds — on 38.5 percent of their missed shots they got the offensive rebound. That is the difference.
LeBron James led the attacks inside and had 16 points in the first half. Dwyane Wade had 11 points but was just 5-of-15 shooting to get there. As a team the Heat started out just 4-of-13 shooting in the second quarter.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant each have 13 for the Thunder. Westbrook took 10 shots in the first half, same as Game 2, but this time hit five of them.
If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.
Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.
Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.