Oklahoma City Thunder center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (50) loses the ball as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)

Heat Take Down Thunder 103-90

Tyler Herro and his name have been fitting thus far in 2021.

The 2020 No. 14 overall pick in the NBA draft has displayed strong play since the beginning of his career. In 2020, he served as one of the darlings of the association, excelling in the NBA playoff bubble to push the Heat to its fifth ever finals appearance. In that campaign, he averaged 16.0 points while the Miami fell short to the Lakers for the NBA title. Yet, despite lofty expectations for his sophomore season, the sharp-shooter didn’t take the next step fans and critics alike expected, averaging just 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 2020-2021.

However, such disappointing notions are out the window in the 2021-2022 campaign. Significantly, Herro has caught fire in 2021, averaging 21.9 points per game along with 5.7 rebounds. Evidently, his play has fueled his team in 2021, as Miami sits at 9-5 on the season. Specifically, the guard’s 26 points helped fuel the Heat to a 103-90 victory over the Thunder Monday. Here’s how it happened.

A Tale of Two Halves

It truly was a tale of two halves in Oklahoma City on Monday.

Miami opened the game without its two all-stars, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, due to minor injuries. But, the Heat still came out competitive. In the first period, the team trailed 24-23 after a strong opening period from Thunder guard Lugentz Dort. Certainly, OKC kept it tightly contested during the second quarter. Then, after a 20-19 second period, the Heat and Thunder were all tied up at 43-43 headed into the half.

Miami proceeded to catch fire in the third. Emphatically, the team led by as much as 14 in the period. But, in the period’s closing seconds, Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski nailed a three-pointer which narrowed the Heat lead to 74-67.

Tyler Herro Time

Nevertheless, the fourth period showed Miami’s status as one of the top teams the league has to offer. In the end, the team cruised to a 103-90 victory which pushed its record to 9-5 on the season. Herro led all scorers with 26 points, with Duncan Robinson and him putting up five three-pointers each. Notably, Miami’s point guard, Kyle Lowry, had 11 assists in route to the victory. Dort registered a strong night for the Thunder, having 20 points. Additionally, Jerimiah Robinson-Earl, the rookie from Villanova, had quite possibly his best game to date with 16 points.

What’s Next?

Miami now sits at 9-5 the season, good enough for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Even further, the Heat have now won back-to-back games after dropping three straight games on its west coast road trip. With Adebayo and Butler’s return along with Herro’s case for Most Improved Player, Miami looks like a formidable contender in 2021.

The Heat return to FTX Arena Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. when New Orleans comes to South Beach.

About Sam Petosa

Sam Petosa is a Journalism major pursuing a Specialization in Sports and Media at UF. The South Florida native produces daily shows for WRUF, including "Sport Scene with Steve Russell, and "The Tailgate." In addition, Sam provides weekly sports updates for WUFT News and radio Sportscenter's for WRUF radio. Sam has been a writer at ESPN Gainesville since January 2020.

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