The Golden State Warriors became the fastest team ever to reach 36 wins on Monday night, defeating a visiting Miami Heat team without starting center Hassan Whiteside (knee tendinitis) 111-103.
The Heat managed to keep the game relatively close with the Warriors, thanks in large part to the Dubs never gaining their sea legs from downtown.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 31 points on a less-than-efficient 27 shots, including a 4-11 effort from deep. The Warriors as a whole mirrored their MVP leader's uncharacteristic inefficiency from behind the arc, going just seven for 23 from range. Still, the Warriors hit their shots when it mattered most.
Stephen Curry with the DAGGER! Dubs up 110-101, 26.9 seconds left. #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/sVCrpuG9Ub— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 12, 2016
Draymond Green continued his MVP-caliber season, finishing with 22 p 12 r 6 a. Draymond epitomizes the fact that scoring is not everything in basketball, but he's so darn good at basketball that he's decided he'd even get better at scoring.
Draymond Green has scored 20+ in consecutive games for the 3rd time in his career (all this season). He has 20 after scoring 25 on Saturday— GSWStats (@gswstats) January 12, 2016
Green also scored fantastic "What could have been" points when he clanked the second half of what could have been another solid entry in the Steph Curry 2015 - 2016 Highlight Reel.
He makes it look so easy. @StephenCurry30 #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/lP1TSdjhLK— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 12, 2016
Perhaps the most notable statistic regarding the game tonight was that all starters finished with a negative plus/minus, while every reserve finished with a positive plus/minus, and all but Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli (+7 for both) finished with a double-digit plus/minus. Speights played all five minutes of his night in the fourth quarter, entering the game with a three point lead in hand and exiting with the Warriors up by double digits, having provided the Warriors with the separation from Miami they were seeking all night.
#MoBuckets w/ the sweet dish on CSNBA. pic.twitter.com/hXAuJmhblR— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 12, 2016
Remember back in Indiana when the bench collapsed and I wrote that some nights they would (nearly) lose us games, and some nights they would win us some? Well, the Warriors might not have necessarily lost without the bench tonight, but...
Perfectly thrown lob to @andre!!! #NBAVote (CSNBA) pic.twitter.com/QyhUdRTmZa— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 12, 2016
In his first game back from injury, reserve Leandro Barbosa was a DNP-CD, along with Jason Thompson.
The Heat's Goran Dragic gave me an opportunity to play Apricot with a little Explain One Mistake entry: "Why you don't plead your case when Steph Curry is on the floor":
This @StephenCurry30 layup makes it an 8-0 run for the Dubs. #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/3nTbYr8IP3— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 12, 2016
Despite poking fun at him, Dragic and the rest of the Heat played well, especially in the first half of play. They controlled the ball (only one first-half turnover) and moved the ball (17 first-half assists). Despite their efforts, the Warriors skulked to the locker rooms having survived the Heat's best punch with a two-point lead.
Notably, rookie forward Justise Winslow made his first career start, as Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opted to downsize his starting unit in the absence of springy big man Hassan Whiteside.
On top of the bench play, the largest positive from the game was the Warriors' attention to detail in terms of taking care of the ball. They held a positive turnover differential of +1 against one of the more stingy teams, coughing the rock up only nine times. That is only the third time all season they posted lower than double-digit turnovers. The Warriors still rotated the ball, albeit resulting in slightly fewer than average assists (25 in total, 12 from the two-headed Green-Curry monster).
The Warriors remained perfect at home this season, sharing that distinction with the San Antonio Spurs. They are just the fifth team in history to win 36 in a row on their home court.
Dubs head to Denver on Wednesday before returning home on Thursday for @KlayThompson Bobblehead Night vs. @Lakers " https://t.co/jFZ1xpesQW— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 12, 2016