Miami Heat’s Dion Waiters shoots a basket in the final seconds of the game to secure a victory over the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson during an NBA basketball game in Miami, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald via AP)
by Jerry Feitelberg
The Miami Heat, winners of three-straight before meeting the Warriors Monday night, looked like a playoff team. They entered the game with a record of 14-30 but did not play like a 14-30 team as they beat the Dubs 105-102.The game was nip and tuck all the way. The biggest lead the Heat had was nine points in the first quarter and the largest lead the Dubs had all night was six.
Miami started strong while the Warriors were ice cold. The Dubs were 3-for-12 from the field to start the game. Miami owned the lead 26-17 until Steve Kerr inserted JaVale McGee into the game. McGee gave the Warriors the spark they needed, and they took the lead 30-28 at the end of the quarter. Klay Thompson and McGee made the first two buckets of the second quarter and the Dubs led by six. The lead didn’t last long as the Heat tied the game at 36. They tied the score four more times in the quarter before the Warriors scored the final bucket of the half when Steph Curry made a layup as the buzzer sounded. The Dubs hold a 2-point advantage at halftime 48-46. Steph led the team with 11, and Kevin Durant added 10. Gorin Dragic led the Heat with 11, Waiters and James Johnson had nine apiece.
So far this season, the Warriors have owned the third quarter. However, tonight was not their night. The quarter belonged to Miami. They outscored the Dubs 31-25. Dion Waiters was hot, and he was clicking from downtown. The game did seesaw back and forth, but the Heat took the lead 63-62 and increased it to 77-73 at the end of the period. The Dubs regained the lead briefly 82-81, but Miami didn’t wilt. They increased the lead to 93-84. The Warriors couldn’t close the gap, and Miami led by ten 98-88 with 3:47 remaining in the game. The Dubs rallied behind Steph, Klay, and KD. Steph made a deuce and Klay, and KD made a three-point shot as the Dubs tied the score at 102 with 11 seconds left in the game. The Heat’s Dion Waiters, who tied his career high with 33 points, sank a three-point shot with just 0.6 seconds left in the game.
Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors were without the services of Andre Iguodala Monday night as Steve Kerr gave him the night off. The Warriors shot 46.6% from the floor, but they had a tough night making three-point shots. They attempted 30 and made just 8. Four of the eight were made in the fourth quarter. Steph and Klay were three-for-nine, and the Dubs shooting percentage for threes was a woeful 26.7%.
KD led the Dubs with 27. Steph had 21, and Klay added 22. The Heat was led by Waiters 33. Dragic had 19, Luke Babbitt 11, James Johnson and Wayne Ellington pitched in with 9 apiece. The Heat’s big man, Hassan Whiteside had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The Dubs fall to 38-7 while Miami improves to 15-30. The Warriors finish the road trip in Charlotte Wednesday evening. Game time is at 5 pm.