by Jerry Feitelberg
Oakland- It appeared to be deja vu all over as the Warriors, as they did in Phoenix Friday night, got off to a slow start and trailed the visiting Heat until late in the third quarter. The Warriors could do nothing right in the early going, and the Heat did everything right as the visitors raced out to an early 34-24 lead after twelve minutes of play. The Heat have two players on their roster that have killed the W’s in the past. They are the big center Hassan Whiteside and guard Dion Waiters. It seems these two mark the calendar as to when they will be playing Golden State and salivate knowing they do well against the World Champions. The Warriors outscored the Heat 30-25 n the second quarter and finished the half trailing 59-54.
The Warriors made the necessary adjustments at halftime and scorched the Heat 36-23 in the third quarter. The W’s led 90-82 and the Big Three of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry led the team in scoring. The W’s started the fourth quarter with an 8-point lead but any team in the NBA can easily make up that deficit, and that is what the Heat did. The Warriors had a slim one-point lead 115-114, but the W’s turned the ball over twice in a row. Josh Richardson and Dwayne Wade had back-to-back steals, and that gave the Heat the lead 118-115. Kevin Durant connected on a three to tie the game. Durant recorded 11 straight points down the stretch for the Warriors. He missed a three-pointer that would have put the W’s in the lead. However, DeMarcus Cousins was able to snag the rebound. Cousins was fouled on the play, and he was able to make both free throws with just 5.4 seconds left to play. The Heat tried but failed to score, and the Warriors won the game.
Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors are now 15-1 in their 16 games and improved to 40-15 for the year. Miami drops to 25-29. Kevin Durant led the W’s with 39 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists. Draymond Green put 5 points on the board, but he corraled 7 rebounds and dished out 14 assists. Klay Thompson had 29, and he connected on six 3s. Curry added 25, and he made five 3s. The Warrior bench added just 15 points. Cousins had 7 points but his two free throws late in the fourth quarter won it for the Warriors. “I was really happy that he was out there at the end of the game,” coach Steve Kerr said of Cousins, playing his 10th game for Golden State. “It’s good experiences for him because he hasn’t been out there much since he’s come back to close games.”
Josh Richardson led the Heat Heat with 37. He made eight three-pointers. Dion Water had 24, and he made six three. Justisce Winslow had 24 including 4 threes, Hassan Whiteside finished the night with a double-double. He had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Dwayne Wade, who may have made his last visit to Oracle Arena as a player, ended the night with 10 points. The Warriors gave a nice tribute to Wade as they showed highlights of his career on the big screen and the fans gave him a nice round of applause.
Andre Iguodala was not able to play Sunday night as he tweaked hi left hamstring Friday night against the Suns in Phoenix. The Warriors resume play Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm.