The Golden State Warriors lost their third-consecutive game, falling 116-109 to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. While the Warriors played better than they had in their losses to the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons, it still was not enough to get a win.
The Warriors started strong and showcased much improved defense early in the first quarter, taking a 19-11 lead. However, Golden State’s starting five has not been the problem for the Warriors this season, and once the starters were on the bench, those woes returned.
The Heat went on a 22-5 run over the final four minutes of the first quarter. Despite a solid start, the Dubs found themselves trailing 33-24 at the end of the quarter because of continued second-unit struggles.
The Warriors prevented Miami from extending the gap in the second quarter, thanks in large part to a strong half by Andrew Wiggins, who had a game-high 14 points and 5 assists at the break. However, offensive contributions from Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Max Strus helped the Heat hold onto a 58-56 lead.
Klay Thompson scored nine points in the first four minutes of the second half to put the Dubs in front. Then, Steph Curry had an exciting stretch, scoring or assisting on five straight possessions to extend the Warriors lead to double digits.
The Heat countered with a run that cut the lead to three, but Moses Moody made a pair of great plays, first finding a cutting JaMychal Green for a dunk, and then knocking down a three to put the Warriors ahead 94-86 heading into the fourth quarter.
Offensively, the Warriors had a sloppy fourth quarter, enabling the Heat to come back into the game. The Dubs missed a huge opportunity with roughly 7:30 left in regulation. Leading by three, Green led a two-on-one break and found Thompson right under the hoop, but Klay was unable to convert. Instead, Kyle Lowry batted the ball away and it turned into a three-point make by Duncan Robinson to tie the game.
With less than two minutes to go, Curry drew a foul on a three-point shot that would have given the Warriors a chance to tie the game. However, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra challenged the call, and it was overturned.
The Dubs got a stop on the subsequent possession, but Thompson missed an open three at the top of the key. With the Heat trying to build a two-possession lead in the final minute, Golden State’s defense once again rose to the occasion and forced a contested fadeaway as the shot clock expired.
Out of a timeout, the Warriors drew up a play to get Thompson a quick three, but the younger Splash Brother’s struggles continued. This time, the Heat made the Dubs pay for an empty possession with Butler knocking down a dagger mid-range jumper to give the Heat a 114-109 lead with 9.5 seconds remaining.
Curry finished the game with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists on 7-for-14 shooting from the field, his first triple-double of the season. Wiggins had 21 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and was a team-best +12 in plus/minus. Thompson had 19 points on 18 shots from the field.
On the other side, Strus and Robinson combined to score 41 points off the bench. Gabe Vincent, another bench player for Miami, finished a game-high +29. With Butler, Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry all in double-figures with at least 5 rebounds and 6 assists, it was enough to push the Heat across the finish line.
Now 3-5, the Warriors continue their Florida road trip on Thursday in Orlando against the Magic.
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