Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Pick & Prediction JANUARY 10th 2024

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the NBA’s best-shooting teams this season.

Since Christmas, the Thunder have been even better from the field, shooting better than 50 percent every game and leading the league, shooting 54.9 percent over their last eight games.

Heading into Wednesday’s game at the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City’s offense has been fueled of late by its distributors.

The Thunder are also among the league’s leaders during the stretch in assists and are coming off a season-high 37-assist performance in Monday’s 136-128 win at Washington.

“You want the guys who have the ball the most to be great decision-makers and play with great maturity and play with a great blend of aggression but also activate their teammates,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said.

“Our creators do that.”

While the Thunder have won six of their last eight games, the Heat have dominated the series of late, winning six consecutive matchups.

Oklahoma City’s last win over the Heat came in August 2020. The Thunder haven’t won in Miami since Feb. 1, 2019.

Miami has lost three of its last five.

Second-year forward Nikola Jovic has been in and out of the rotation but has started the last three games, playing at least 21 minutes in each while averaging 8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals.

“I told Niko I’m starting a Nikola Jovic fan club led by Tyler Herro,” Herro said. “I just love the way he plays. He’s so skilled. I really think he’s really, really good. So, I’m excited for him to get out there and continuing to build on the minutes and opportunities he’s getting.”

Wednesday’s matchup is the second of a four-game homestand for the Heat, who opened with a 120-113 win over Houston on Monday.

Kyle Lowry suffered a sprained left hand in Monday’s win, but it’s illness that has him listed as doubtful for the game against the Thunder. Lowry didn’t practice Tuesday due to illness.

It’s not clear if Lowry’s hand injury will be a factor as well, though Heat coach Spoelstra said after Monday’s game that initial results were positive.

“He’s as tough as you can be in this league,” Spoelstra said. “He’s played through more things than probably anybody currently playing in this association.”

Miami will be without Jimmy Butler for the fifth consecutive game with a toe injury, but he said Tuesday he was progressing well.

“I still got a couple of more days, honestly, until we can get tolerable pain in there,” he said. “And then I’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media

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