The Golden State Warriors, behind Kevin Durant’s 28 points and Steph Curry’s near triple-double, outlasted the Heat to improve to 33-6.
The Golden State Warriors are still a work in progress. They’re figuring out how to play with their star-studded Core Four so it becomes a bit of a problem when one of them is missing. Still, the Dubs were able to outlast the Miami Heat for a 107-95 victory.
Klay Thompson was out in this one, sidelined with an illness. Rookie Patrick McCaw replaced him in the starting lineup. He played 18 minutes, but he struggled to find his rhythm. He had a few flashes–picking the ball away, knocking down a three-pointer–but overall it was tough for the rook to get going. He committed several silly fouls and made some mistakes defensively.
The Warriors couldn’t quite gain separation in this one. Hassan Whiteside, who had 28 points and 20 rebounds, dominated Zaza Pachulia. He cleaned up every miss and finished around the rim. Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson had 18 and 17 points respectively.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant did just enough to win. Durant had a team-high 28 points and hauled 8 rebounds. Curry didn’t shoot the ball well, making just 8 of his 21 attempts. He had 24 points, but also added 8 rebounds and 9 assists. He was able to slow the game down and make the right plays.
Shaun Livingston had to play a few more minutes with Thompson out. He scored 8 points in 17 minutes. JaVale McGee, Warriors fan favorite, played 9 minutes and scored 2 points and grabbed 3 rebound. It was a pretty night for the electric big man.
The Warriors’ real MVP, Pachulia, stepped up late. With the Heat threatening, Curry poked the ball away from Whiteside. The Georgian center dove on the floor to secure the loose ball and found his MVP point guard who hit Andre Iguodala with a pass for a slam. It was a huge momentum shifting play that helped seal the game.
Golden State wasn’t spectacular for the full 48, but a big third quarter in which the defense buckled down propelled them to victory. The Warriors couldn’t reach 30 assists (only had 28), but they limited their turnovers to just 11.
The Warriors have one more game on Thursday before their rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 16. They have some things to clean up and would love to have Thompson back.