EditorsNote: 5th graf, fix wording
Darius Bazley scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Mike Muscala hit two 3-pointers in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 116-115, come-from-behind win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night near Orlando.
The Thunder trailed by as many as 22 points in the fourth period but outscored the Heat 34-15 in the quarter.
The two late treys produced Muscala’s only points of the night.
The first tied it with 34.8 seconds to play. After Miami regained the lead on a Solomon Hill layup with 11.6 seconds to go, Muscala hit another 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining to put the Thunder ahead for the first time since the opening moments of the game.
Tyler Herro’s attempted 3-pointer hit off the front of the rim at the buzzer to seal Oklahoma City’s win.
Herro finished with a career-high 30 points.
Bazley posted 20-plus points for the third consecutive game.
The big comeback was Oklahoma City’s second of the game.
Miami jumped out to an 18-point lead in the first quarter before the Thunder crept back into the game, cutting the deficit to four by halftime.
With his team’s playoff matchup set, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went to a lineup of reserves in the second half.
The bench players put a spark into Miami initially, as the Heat outscored Oklahoma City 34-20 in the third behind 11 points from Herro.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan went with a similar approach when Spoelstra made his changes, using exclusively bench players in the fourth quarter.
Miami (44-28) will face Indiana in the first round after the Pacers beat Houston earlier in the day to clinch at least the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The winner of Friday’s Heat-Pacers seeding-game finale will be the No. 4 seed, with the loser the No. 5 seed.
Oklahoma City (44-27) moved into a tie with Houston for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder ends their seeding-game schedule Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Duncan Robinson scored 16 of his 19 points in a 42-point first quarter for Miami.
--Field Level Media