It’s very difficult to beat the Miami when the big three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combine to score 67 points. However, when Stephen Curry is having a special kind of night and the Golden State Warriors are enjoying a full lineup, it’s not that surprising to see the Dubs claim a win over the NBA champions.
The Warriors have now beaten the Heat in Miami for a second consecutive season, picking up a 7th straight victory for the first time since 2005. Andre Iguodala is back to put some order in their play, while having a full lineup including key pieces off the bench isn’t hurting.
Stephen Curry put on one of his special performances, scoring 36 points and adding 12 assists. He hit 8 3-pointers, the most anyone ever has against the Miami Heat, attempting that shot 15 times. He got a lot of help from David Lee, scoring 32 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, as the Warriors excellent outside shooting (15-of-29 from three) and ball movemenet exposed how to really bother the Miami Heat.
Yes, LeBron James, who led the Heat with 26 points, won’t turn the ball over 8 times every night. These things can happen, and the same goes for Dwyane Wade missing the easiest of layups. However, contrary to popular belief, rebounding isn’t the way to beat the Heat. Sure, it’s a problem for Miami to struggle against big centers who have no problem dominating the boards, but their bad games come when their pressing and swarming defense struggles covering shooters and teams that spread the floor well, like the Warriors.
One of the best shooters this NBA will see. I mean, if you can find a better shooter than him right now, especially with the way he handles the ball — and the light that he has, it’s more than green, it’s fluorescent — you just hope that he misses. Nothing you can do. You contest it and hope he misses.
Curry and Lee got a lot of help from Klay Thompson (16 points, 4-of-9 from beyond the arc) and a big game by Harrison Barnes, back to bench duties since the return of Iguodala. Barnes finished with 15 points in 27 minutes, as the Warriors seem to be one of the teams better equipped to handle the small-ball the Miami Heat love using to their advantage against most of the NBA by using Barnes and Draymond Green off the bench.
Miami had their entire starting five in double digits – Chris Bosh scored 19 but was only 6-of-16 from the field. Mario Chalmers scored 17 points and Shane Battier finished with 11. The problem was the bench and especially Ray Allen and Michael Beasley, combining to score only 10 points on 3-of-8 from the field. In a night when James couldn’t seem to get a dominant and consistent stretch going for him, the scoring prowess of the shooters off the bench was sorely missed.
The Warriors are now looking like one of the best in the West, as they did before Iguodala picked up his injury. Stephen Curry’s shooting isn’t something accidental. He doesn’t need to take it easy in some games but he truly is a force of nature that possibly has never been seen in this league, and on his good days that come from time to time there’s nothing much to do but hope that he misses.