It’s more than a marquee match-up when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat meet Wednesday night, it’s also a battle between the top two MVP-candidates so far this season and perhaps, the best players in the world.
And what a time for it to come: Durant has been playing out of his mind recently and James is playing like his usual dominant-self the entire season.
“KD”, “Slim Reaper” or whatever nickname, this Durant has averaged 38.5 points in his last 11 games. This includes a career-high 54 points over ten days ago versus the Golden State Warriors. He had another 41 markers in the last outing-- a 111-109 win when Durant hit the game-winner over what was a triple team from the Atlanta Hawks.
"King James" has not exploded scoring-wise but is once again doing it all for the Heat. James is averaging 26.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.3 steals for the season.
Durant has outscored James in 9 of 16 meetings between the two but the Heat have won 13 of those 16 meetings.
But before anyone forgets, this game will also be about the Thunder and Heat.
After a so-so start to start 2013-- when they went 3-4 in the first seven games-- the Thunder (36-10) have now racked up eight consecutive wins to grab the top spot in the Western Conference. OKC is also one game behind the Indiana Pacers (35-9) for the league’s best record.
Similarly, the Heat struggled off the gates for the new year going 3-4 as well. They’ve responded by going 5-1 in their last six and at 32-12, are within range of the league’s best teams.
Watch Durant and LeBron slug it out on the Thunder-Heat match-up on Wednesday via NBA League Pass.
Betting Lines: Oklahoma City Thunder (+4) vs. Miami Heat (O/U: 203.5) Game time: 10:00 a.m. AEDT
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Oklahoma City Thunder Trends - The Thunder are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games - The Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on the road - The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. East teams
Miami Heat Trends - The Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games at home - The Heat are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. the Thunder - The Heat are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Northwest division teams