The Golden State Warriors pulled a miracle out of a hat on Wednesday night, beating the Miami Heat in overtime despite a poor shooting night from Steph Curry, a late scratch of Draymond Green, and no centers.
So how did they do it? By succeeding at their pregame keys to victory, or some other way? Let’s find out by revisiting the keys.
The key: Put the defensive clamps on a struggling offense, from start to finish.
The outcome: This one got better as the game progressed. After allowing 36 points in the opening frame, the Dubs allowed just 25 points in each of the second and third quarters to start getting back into the game. It culminated with holding Miami to 19 fourth quarter points, and just 7 in the extra frame.
It wasn’t the defensive performance some envisioned before the game started, but for a team not having Draymond Green, it was pretty damn good.
Grading the key: 7.5 out of 10.
Limit the Heat shooters
The key: Don’t let Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson explode for great shooting nights.
The outcome: Robinson shot 5-for-12 from the field and 3-for-10 from beyond the arc. Herro shot 3-for-15 and 2-for-8 from distance.
The two wings are capable of being two of the deadliest shooters in the league on any given night, so holding them to a combined 8-for-27 shooting, and 5-for-18 from three-point range is a big, big win.
Grading the key: 9.5 out of 10.
The key: Steph Curry and Draymond Green be better than Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
The outcome: The Warriors get a little bit of an incomplete grade for this one, since Green was scratched just a few minutes before the game started, due to soreness in his ankle.
Curry had a bit of a funny game. He had 11 assists and 7 rebounds, and hit some of the biggest shots of the game. He also shot just 8-for-25, his third-worst game of the season by field goal percentage. He was 5-for-20 from beyond the arc — the 20 shots were the most threes he’s attempted in a game this season, but the 5 makes were tied for 10th in his 29 games.
Statistically, Adebayo and Butler were better, as the former had 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting, and the latter had a triple-double of 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.
But in a game that went to extra time, the Heat were outscored by 5 points when Butler was on the court, and by 20 when Adebayo was. The Warriors, on the other hand, were 8 points better during Curry’s minutes.
Steph had an off night shooting, and Dray was in street clothes, but it still felt like they had the most star power.
Grading the key: 6 out of 10.
Good enough for a win. On a night like that, it’s really all that matters.