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Heat second half struggles return in 123-95 loss to Warriors

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Miami held their own against the champs in the first half, but were eventually blown out.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat’s troubling second half woes came back to haunt them as the Golden State Warriors took advantage and throttled them 123-95 at the American Airlines Arena on Sunday.

The Warriors enjoyed a 37-17 advantage in the third quarter after the Heat held their own against the reigning NBA champions in the first half, and indeed holding the lead for much of it. After struggling from the field after being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award last week, Goran Dragic led the charge early with some hot shooting. Miami as a team shot well from outside to keep pace with the Warriors, converting on nine 3-pointers in the first half — including a four-point play from Dragic and a corner 3 from Justise Winslow.

The Heat shot just 4-17 in the second half from long range while the Warriors’ Big 3 of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were simply unstoppable throughout the course of the game but once they truly ramped up their shooting after halftime the Heat simply didn't have enough firepower to keep up. Curry led all scorers with 30 points with 16 first quarter points.

Golden State came out swinging to start the third quarter with a quick 14-2 run and they never looked back. With just a two-point lead at the half, the champs outscored the home team 61-35 in the second half but just as importantly they raised their defense to another level and none of the Heat’s players had an answer to counter that.

Dragic finished with 20 points but was mostly quiet once the Warriors made their game-turning run. Another strong all-around game from Kelly Olynyk (14 points, seven rebounds, five assists) off the bench was also wasted. Dion Waiters struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 1-10 for the game. Wayne Ellington also was ineffective, hitting just three of their 10 shots, all from beyond the arc.

Miami play four of their next five games on the road, starting with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.