Reactions: Warriors 123, Heat 114
|David Lee, PF 36 MIN | 13-17 FG | 6-7 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 32 PTS | +17The ups and downs of a season are truly incredible. Just days ago many were clamoring for a trade involving Lee — and while some may still want to — there’s no denying that Lee is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. He was dominant tonight. He started early and kept it going throughout as the Heat started Shane Battier, whom Lee quickly made mincemeat of. Granted, Lee made two contested, tough shots in the paint in the 1Q to set the tone for the rest of the night. Lee had 13 points in the 1Q and ended up only missing four shots the entire night. His midrange jumper is slowly coming back, and he’s played well on defense as of late as well — closing out, staying down and keeping in players in front of him. All are improvements over what was an inauspicious start for the former All-Star. Lee’s night was highlighted by a beautiful bob and weave through Dwayne Wade and over LeBron James to help seal the game.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 34 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +16Iguodala was given the toughest task in basketball Thursday night: defending LeBron James. James played well — 26 points on 10/16 shooting — but many of those buckets came when Harrison Barnes was guarding, off broken plays or as a result of Warriors turnovers. James struggled when Iguodala was directly in front of him. Offensively, Iguodala did little besides two threes — now 45% on the season — and his six assists. The Warriors need for a consistent point guard off the bench continues, but Andre is more than capable of holding fort until a deal is made. In fact, I’m more than comfortable with him being the primary backup when Curry isn’t in the game.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +14Bogut had a quiet night as the Heat went with their primary small-ball lineup for most of the game. Bogut made all three of his shots in the 1Q, one of which was an alley-oop courtesy of Curry. If the Warriors can win games with Bogut playing a limited amount of minutes, I’m all for it. Limited minutes now means extended minutes in the postseason.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 44 MIN | 13-22 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 12 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 36 PTS | +16What more can be said about Steph Curry? At any point during a game Curry can go one of those his incredible runs, and he did so in the 3Q on Thursday night. Curry began his night with a perfect 3/3 from beyond the arc in the 1Q, setting the tone for what would be an incredible shooting display. This game was eerily reminiscent of his game last season at Madison Square Garden where he dropped 54 points in what ended up being a losing effort. The outcome was different this time but the process was equally as exciting. Curry dropped 14 points in the 3Q on his way towards another efficient night and the Warriors seventh straight victory. The Heat switched defenders, double-teamed and shadowed Curry in multiple attempts to try and limit the onslaught but to no avail. When Curry is hot, there’s simply no stopping him. New Orleans — and a possible starting spot — is awaiting him in February.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 38 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 16 PTS | +12Thompson made timely buckets and did an admirable job of defending Dwyane Wade thoughout the night. He played the second most minutes on the team and helped space the floor for his teammates. Thompson led the team with four turnovers, two of which being of the Mickael Pietrus fashion: catching the ball out of bounds off a pass. These are easily fixable and aren’t of any long-term concern, but were definitely noticeable. Thompson continues his solid all-around play.|
Your second unit update of the game: Draymond Green continues to impress, specifically on the defensive end. He didn’t get credit with any steals, but he was the cause of many as he poked his hands through defenders and bodied up the Heat’s stars in the second half. Harrison Barnes played well on the offensive end accounting for 15 points and combining 6/7 from the foul line. He struggled against James, but that’s hardly unexpected. Mo Speights stayed shooting and Kent Bazemore — now looking like the second “point guard” off the bench — made an acrobatic hook shot to end the 1Q.
Your Warriors rumor of the night: Andre Miller.
Quotes of the game:
“You just hope he misses. If he wasn’t making shots, he was making assists. He controlled the tempo of the game.” — LeBron James on Stephen Curry
“He’s a special player. He’s a guy you can win with, and win big with. He’s a true franchise guy.” — Shane Battier on Curry
“There’s nothing you can do when that guy’s on fire. A lot of times we were in his jersey, and he still made it. He’s special. That’s why that team has a shot to come out of Western Conference.” — Dwyane Wade
Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!
If you had to sum up Curry’s game in one play, this would be it:
Looking ahead: The Warriors continue on their 3-0 road trip with a quick turnaround against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. They round out their week with a matchup against the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
Why you won’t be purchasing the LeBron XI’s anytime soon: [youtube id="nh15VA3SSmU" width="600" height="350" autoplay="no"]
#FullSquad has officially arrived:
[youtube id="1wY8rTYO0d8" width="600" height="350" autoplay="no"]
Tweets of the night:
Last season was #IfHealthy, this season is #FullSquad. Let’s keep it going.