Heat Check: Miami can’t cool down Stephen Curry’s hot hand
MIAMI — Faced with an old-school shootout against the visiting Golden State Warriors in the closing minutes, the Miami Heat were ultimately no match for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in a 114-97 defeat Tuesday night.
With Dwyane Wade missing his seventh straight game, the Heat fought toe-to-toe against one of the top teams in the NBA for most of the game with balanced scoring and solid games from Chris Bosh (26 points, nine rebounds), Luol Deng (16 points) and Mario Chalmers (14 points).
The game didn’t disappoint from the start with both teams combining for 66 points in an entertaining first quarter. With Chalmers leading the way with 13 points, Deng with eight and Bosh adding seven points in the opening 12 minutes, the Heat looked like they would be able to shoot their way to victory.
The Heat opened up a 16-point advantage by the second quarter, but no lead is safe against the high-octane Warriors, who managed to cut it to a single point by halftime. Led by Curry’s hot hand, the Warriors led for most of the third quarter, but the Heat kept it close with the improved play of rookies Shabazz Napier and James Ennis.
But with just 11 fourth-quarter points and the team failing to convert a field goal in the last nine minutes of the game, the Warriors blew the game wide open. The final margin of victory was their biggest lead of the night.
THE TURNING POINT
After the Heat grabbed their first lead of the fourth quarter at 95-93 with less than seven minutes left, the Warriors reeled off 14 straight points to give Miami their fourth loss in their past five home games.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Curry’s 40 points, including 8 of 11 from long range, were simply too much for the Heat to counter.
STAT OF THE GAME
The 36 points scored in the first quarter was the Heat’s highest point total for any quarter this season.
Miami will visit the New York Knicks on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.