Roughly a year ago, the Golden State Warriors came into Miami and walked away with a stunning 97-95 victory over the defending champions.
A year later, the story has been told yet again.
The Warriors defeated the Miami Heat 123-114 in a wild affair at American Airlines Arena , extending their win-streak to a league-best seven games and handing the Heat their first home loss in almost a month.
Stephen Curry and David Lee led the way for the Warriors. Curry had 36 points and 12 assists, and knocked down eight 3-pointers. Lee finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds, abusing Chris Bosh on offense.
The Warriors opened the game on a roll, and never really took their foot off the gas pedal. They shot 79 percent from the field in first quarter, and had 65 points by halftime, but led by just four.
However, their 65-61 lead at the half would soon balloon to 81-67 thanks to a quick spurt coming out of the locker room. Curry went into full “Human Torch” mode, knocking down shot after after. He had 14 points in the third quarter alone, and the Warriors led by nine heading into the fourth quarter. LeBron James and the Heat managed to claw within four, but Curry and Lee both made big baskets down the stretch to close out the game in what was another signature win for the Warriors in Miami.
Tale of the Tape
- Field Goals: 56.1% (46-82)
- 3-Pointers: 51.7% (15-29)
- Rebounds: 40
- Assists: 29
- Turnovers: 18
- Field Goals: 53.1% (40-78)
- 3-Pointers: 44.4% (8-18)
- Rebounds: 31
- Assists: 20
- Turnovers: 15
Obviously, this win was not as “stunning” as the Warriors’ road win over the Heat last season. The Heat knew and admitted before the game that this would be a tough matchup, and their praise for the Warriors seemed a bit over-complimentary.
Thus, the Warriors came in and performed as advertised. They shot the ball lights out with tremendous ball movement, and made the right plays down the stretch to keep the Heat from making a late run.
However, there is still a little bit of shock whenever any team — never mind the Warriors — walks into the Heat’s home floor and comes away with victorious. With Miami’s roster and championship pedigree, they fully expect to win, night in and night out. The fact that the Warriors are the lone Western Conference team to have beaten the Heat twice in Miami over the past year shows that if the Heat want to “3-peat,” the opponent they do not want to face would be the team by the bay.
Good to Know
Just how bad have the Warriors been over the past decade, and just how much better are they now? This answers both questions:
Dubs win their seventh-straight, their longest since 3/25-4/8/05 (eight straight) and have won eight of their last nine
— GSWStats (@gswstats) January 3, 2014
The Warriors are now 16-3 with their #FullSquad, which is now trending on Twitter. David Lee, who started the trend after asking reporters what the Warriors’ record was with all five starters healthy, gave it a shoutout after the game:
What’s on Tap
The Warriors have little time to celebrate their big win, as they will head on a plane and fly to Atlanta where they will take on the Hawks Friday night. Tomorrow’s game will mark the halfway point of their seven-game road trip.