The world champion Golden State Warriors avenged their loss last year in South Beach with a 123-95 punishing of the Miami Heat. Stephen Curry led the way with 30 points in 30 minutes on 11-for-16 shooting (5-for-9 from three-point range), ignoring the plethora of bandages on his injured hand and shoulders.
Curry came out on South Beach cooking with plutonium. Goran Dragic is a fantastic player, but he cannot guard the Dubs point guard.
Stephen Curry has his highest scoring first quarter of the season with 16 points on 5-of-7 from the field (3-of-4 3FG)— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 4, 2017
Unfortunately, the Warriors defense wasn’t following suit with the two-time MVP’s hot start, giving up 36 points to start the game. If Curry didn’t go off early, the Warriors may have found themselves in a much deeper hole to dig out of. Hassan Whiteside missed the game with a knee issue, but early on it appeared as though Miami may not need him.
Warriors 33, Heat 36
The Heat slogged the pace down to a wrestling match, mucking the Warriors offensive schemes with physical bumping. As the teams traded difficult buckets, the intensity cranked up. Shaun Livingston complained to a referee about his defender clearly bodying him during one of his patented mid-range jumpers. Bizarrely, the official aggressively advanced and the two bumped foreheads, leading to 2017’s “Referee Ultimate Weapon”: the one-tech ejection.
With the loss of Livingston and the absence of Andre Iguodala due to injury, the bench lost two cornerstones and forced Coach Steve Kerr into funky lineups. One included Curry, Patrick “Future Hall-of-Famer” McCaw, Nick Young, Jordan Bell, and Kevin Durant at center (Durant torched Kelly Olynyk at that spot).
The Warriors would finish the half only 5-for-16 from downtown, while the hometown Heat drilled 50% of their 18 three-point attempts.
Warriors 62, Heat 60.
The Dubs started out the quarter with a renewed vigor on defense, snuffing out the Heat’s offensive plays with brilliant timing and ferocious physicality. Once they secured the ball, the Warriors activated their devastating high-speed transition attack, led by Curry a.k.a. “Unanimous”.
The Warriors never let up and ripped off a 37-17 3rd quarter, thoroughly breaking the spirit of the Eastern Conference jabronis. The Heat only shot 6-for-17 for the quarter, their offense rendered punchless by the Dubs championship level defense.
Oh yeah, Jordan Bell also told American Airlines Arena TO COME FLY WITH HIM!
Warriors 99, Heat 77
When Curry sat on the bench and calmly removed his medical hand wrap at the beginning of the period, it was clear the game was over.
The Warriors finished off their perfunctory final 12 minutes over the Heat as Dion Waiters watched from the bench looking detached. That was great.
The Warriors would finish with a season low nine turnovers, (only five heading into the final quarter). Kevin Durant got busy with 24 points on 50% shooting from the field and seven assists. Omri Casspi led the bench with 10 points.
Like many teams over the last four years, the Miami Heat found out it’s not how you start swimming against the deadly Splash: it’s about not being submerged in the end by the cold waves.
The Dubs can’t celebrate for long as they have a tough matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans coming up tomorrow evening.
How impressive was this road win, Dub Nation?
Who’s your pick for tonight’s Warrior Wonder?
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