Heat Check: Warriors come to play, Miami can’t catch up

MIAMI — Two star players combined for 68 points and led their team to victory Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade? Wrong players. Heck, wrong team.

Steph Curry hit 8 of 15 from beyond the arc en route to a 36-point performance and David Lee added 32 points and 14 rebounds to help give the Golden State Warriors a 123-114 victory over the Miami Heat.

The Heat, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, were behind by 6 points when James went to the line for two free throws with 3:15 remaining. The King missed both.

Stephen Curry leads Warriors with 36, double-double as Heat fall

Curry then hit a corner 3-pointer before Lee added a basket to give Golden State a 118-107 cushion with 2:19 showing in regulation. Basically, game over.

With former NBA great Julius Erving and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel looking on, James had 26 points to lead the Heat (24-8). Wade added 22 and Chris Bosh had 19. Point guard Mario Chalmers had 17 points and a team-high 7 rebounds.

Klay Thompson, who with Curry forms the backcourt known as the Splash Brothers, had 16 points to help the Warriors win their seventh in a row. It was the second game on a season-high seven-game road trip for Golden State (21-13).

It was a fun game to watch, as the Splash Brothers lit it up from outside — a combined 19 of 37 — and passed the ball for 29 assists on 46 field goals.

The crowd really got into the game as the Heat drew close late, creating a playoff atmosphere, but the Warriors couldn’t be caught.

The Warriors led 96-87 entering the fourth quarter after going ahead by as many as 15 points in the third. Curry had 28 points and Lee 24 to lead Golden State; and all five Miami starters scored in double figures through the first three quarters.

The Heat trailed 65-61 after a half in which the Warriors shot 63.2 percent (24 of 38) and hit 9 of 12 from 3-point range.

Bosh had 17 first-half points for Miami, which got only 4 bench points (all from Ray Allen).

THE TURNING POINT

Curry’s corner trey and Lee’s hoop to build a nine-point lead with 2:19 left in the fourth virtually secured the victory.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Curry, whose shooting not only scored points, it forced Miami to try and disrupt him. That created scoring opportunities for other Warriors.

STAT OF THE GAME

Golden State sank 15 of 29 (51.7 percent) from beyond the arc.

MUST SEE VIDEO

Ray Allen throws down the furious and-one slam:

WHAT’S NEXT

The Heat play the Magic at Orlando 7 p.m. Saturday (Sun Sports).

You can follow Charlie McCarthy on Twitter @mccarthy_chas or email him at mac1763@bellsouth.net.