The Golden State Warriors played about 43 minutes of sluggish, disinterested basketball Monday night, before flipping the switch. But it was (barely) too little, too late. The lowly 15-30 Miami Heat earned their biggest win of the season, shocking the Dubs on a buzzer-beater three-point basket from Dion Waiters.
This one was close the whole way — with the Warriors never shaking free from the last-place Heat. This one also had all of the hallmarks of a dumb Warriors’ loss going in:
- Day (mostly) off in a world-class party city?
- Letdown game after one or more extremely important rivalry games?
- Second half of a back-to-back on the road?
And, not coincidentally, the game looked a lot like previous dumb Warriors’ losses:
- Warriors can’t hit a three all game (8-of-30).
- Warriors don’t get to the free-throw line.
- Warriors don’t convert the few free-throws they do get (12-of-20).
- The opponent shoots uncharacteristically well from three (13-of-30 for one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA).
Yet, aside from some well-deserved Dion Waiters highlights, there isn’t so much to take away from this game. The Warriors lost a dumb one because, despite all of the things just listed, they got outplayed. There was yet another questionable flagrant foul on Kevin Durant, and another objectionable foul on Zaza Pachulia. But the Dubs lost this one fair and square to a team that certainly wanted to win more than the Warriors.
So, hats off.
But don’t believe the hype. The Miami Heat didn’t discover the secret to beating the Warriors. The Dubs aren’t having issues in crunch time because they don’t know who to follow. They aren’t having internal issues. They lost a dumb game because they didn’t pay another NBA team the respect it deserves.
Stephen Curry nearly recorded a triple-double in the loss, finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Kevin Durant scored 27 points to lead the Warriors, yet finished with a shocking -9 plus-minus score. Klay Thompson had 22 points and 5 rebounds.
The Dubs head north to Charlotte to play the Hornets. North Carolina loves Steph, and the megastar will have his college jersey retired at Davidson College during the trip.
Don’t expect this hangover to last.