Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Tip-off: Thursday, February 14, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
LeBron James is really making Kevin Durant want to impress his YouWager fans like never before.
Currently heading into the All-Star break, James is working extra hard for league MVP a one-man contest. The 28 year-old has grabbed all the headlines by logging an NBA record six straight games with at least 30 points while shooting 60 percent or better.
In contrast, the 24 year-old Durant has hit both of those marks just five times all season. The two top vote-getters in last season’s MVP balloting will meet tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Miami Heat.
In addition to finishing second to James in 2012’s MVP voting, Durant’s Oklahoma City team lost against Miami in five games in the NBA Finals. Tonight’s game will be the first time the teams have played at Chesapeake Energy Arena since the Heat won Game 2 of the Finals, then went back to Miami to win the next three games and the title.
The Heat won on their home court back in December 25th in the only other meeting this season.
With James on board Miami rolls in on a six-game winning streak. The Thunder had also been sizzling, tying a franchise record with four straight wins by at least 20 points before getting blown out versus the Utah Jazz earlier this week.
Oklahoma City (39-13) is just ahead of East-leading Heat (35-14) in the overall NBA standings, with both trailing NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs in the race for home-court advantage for their opportunity to grab the title.
Durant, the NBA’s current best scorer over the past three seasons, has set out to improve his all-around game somewhat in the mold of James. The Washington native is averaging career-bests in shooting percentage from the field (52), 3-point range (43) and foul line (90.4), plus in assists (4.4), steals (1.6) and blocks (1.2).
Oddsmakers consider James’ numbers are still better in all of those categories except free-throw shooting, and he’s pulling down more rebounds while ranking behind only Durant and New York’s Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony in scoring.