Thunder Rally Past Heat 107-100 To Claim West’s Top Spot

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA News
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

In an electrifying comeback, the Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s remarkable 37-point performance, overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the Miami Heat 107-100 during Friday’s NBA action.

This pivotal win propelled the Thunder to the top of the Western Conference standings, edging out the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Gilgeous-Alexander made 13 of 25 field goals and 9 of 11 free throws. The NBA’s No. 2 scorer was greeted with MVP chants when he went to the line in the fourth quarter as he helped Oklahoma City take control.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised Gilgeous-Alexander’s discernment and his contribution to the team’s success.

“The shot-making is great,” Daigneault said. “He’s had the talent from day one. But what I’m most impressed with is the restraint he’s showing and his ability to see the big picture, to leverage that talent for the good of the team while he’s still trying to accomplish individual things.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat Updates

Supporting Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams added 15 points and Josh Giddey contributed 11 points, along with nine rebounds and six assists. Gilgeous-Alexander highlighted the importance of teamwork and the roles each player has on the Thunder.

“We have guys like that across the board that do the little things that add up at the end of the night … Everybody has a role and on this team everyone takes pride and does their role to the best of their ability,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “And that’s what I love about them.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat Updates

Miami’s rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. led his team with 25 points, while Jimmy Butler offered a near triple-double performance. Despite the loss and a previous defeat in Dallas, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra remained optimistic about the team’s direction.

“We’ll get better from this,” Spoelstra said. “There were a lot of good things to take away. None of us want to talk about it or feel that or whatever right now because we’re competitors. But by the time we get back to Miami, even the head coach can see that there are some good things happening in our locker room.”

The Heat had initially dominated, leading by 14 points early in the third quarter. However, the Thunder orchestrated a spectacular 17-0 run to seize the lead, demonstrating resilience and strategic prowess.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat Updates

Daigneault acknowledged the significance of the victory, given the esteem in which the Heat are held.

“They’re the competitive standard of the NBA, and so we have great respect for them and we know how much you have to earn a win against them,” Daigneault said. “So we’re really happy with that win.”

As both teams look ahead, the Heat will aim to regroup against Washington, while the Thunder faces a challenging encounter with Memphis, each striving for momentum as the season progresses.

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