Westbrook, Wade bump heads in OKC

( - Russell Westbrook isn't converting water into wine, but his recent play may leave some to believe otherwise.

The All-Star Game MVP and triple-double machine will lead the Oklahoma City Thunder into Sunday's showdown versus Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Westbrook posted his ninth triple-double of the season and 17th of his career in Friday's 123-115 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks. He finished with 36 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for OKC, which shot 51.2 percent from the field and had a 44-34 advantage on the glass.

"Everything is clicking on both sides of the floor," Westbrook said.

The speedy guard is averaging 33.8 points, 10.6 assists and 10.4 rebounds in his last 12 games with seven triple-doubles in that stretch. The Thunder are 15-2 when Westbrook pulls off the trifecta.

Westbrook leads the NBA with 27.8 ppg.

Dion Waiters scored 26 points, Anthony Morrow netted 21 off the bench and Steven Adams provided 12 points and 16 rebounds in the win for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City has won two straight, four of five and 16 of the last 22 games, and is eighth in the West standings - two games in front of New Orleans.

The Thunder will close this four-game homestand (2-0) Tuesday versus the Los Angeles Lakers and have a 25-9 mark as the host. They have prevailed in 18 of the last 20 games in front of the home crowd and are 12-2 against Eastern Conference opponents at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Miami sits seventh in the East - two games ahead of Boston - and will play the next four games on the road against Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Boston and Atlanta. It is 15-18 as the guest and winless in three straight road games.

The Heat, though, won all three games on a recent homestand and are 7-3 in the past 10 contests. In Friday's 108-91 triumph over the Denver Nuggets, Wade led the way with 22 points, Luol Deng scored 15 points and Hassan Whiteside ended with 14 and 10 rebounds. Whiteside has 15 double-doubles in his last 22 games.

"We have to keep plugging away," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "When things don't go your way, you can feel sorry for yourselves, make excuses or just keep on working."

Miami made 53 percent from the floor and scored 26 points off 16 Denver turnovers. The Heat won the battle on the boards, 44-35.

Wade is posting an average of 28.3 ppg in his last eight for the Heat, who are 12-16 against the West (6-8 on road) and averaging 107.3 points during the current winning streak.

The Heat were dealt a 94-86 loss to the Thunder on Jan. 20 in South Beach, as Kevin Durant paced OKC with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Wade and Chris Bosh scored 18 and 16 points, respectively, in that one for the Heat, who are still 7-2 in the last nine meetings between the teams.

The Heat dispatched the Thunder in five games to win the NBA title in 2012.

Durant and Bosh will not be on the floor Sunday. Bosh is finished for the season because of blood clots in his lungs and Durant has been shut down indefinitely with a balky right foot.

"He's not making the progress we had hoped," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Friday.

Durant hasn't played since Feb. 19 and underwent a procedure a few days later in an effort to alleviate soreness from a screw that was inserted when the reigning NBA MVP had surgery in October to repair a fracture in the foot.

The initial surgery was performed to repair a broken bone at the base of Durant's small toe. He returned on Dec. 2 and has averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in just 27 games this season.