The trick now is can the Thunder leave behind Saturday’s 108-102 upset of the Houston Rockets?.
“This game was important, but Monday’s game (against the Heat) is just as important as this game, because if we don’t take care of business Monday, then this game doesn’t really mean anything,” Carmelo Anthony said. “But I think now we understand what’s going on, coming down to the last couple of games of the season.”
That win against the Rockets — snapping a 20-game home court winning streak by the team with the NBA’s best record — had been stirring, but strangely familiar.
On Monday against Miami, the Thunder can clinch a playoff berth, if it can avoid the equally familiar fallout.
Nobody has a better record this season against the NBA’s top three teams than Oklahoma City, which is a combined 6-3 against Houston, Golden State and Toronto.
But four of the previous five times the Thunder beat one of those teams, it lost its next game. The only exception was when it followed up a December win against the Rockets by beating the Raptors.
The game is at 6:30 tonight at Miami.