The Miami Heat led for much of the game, but the Golden State Warriors would battle back to nearly steal it. Luckily, Dwyane Wade would deliver in the clutch once again to deliver another clutch game winner at the AmericanAirlines Arena for the gritty 126-125 win.
Both teams kept it close to start, trading buckets and keeping things close. The Warriors started slow offensively and dished out a lot of fouls, giving the Heat an opportunity to extend an early lead.
Miami was very aggressive to start, cutting hard on offense and pressuring the Warriors on every shot. This led to iffy shot attempts and a really nice block for Bam (he started in place of an injured Whiteside) and one beautiful Wade steal and dunk.
Wade was amazing to start, he made his first few shots and looked like he was 27 again as he sliced and diced his was through the Warriors’ defense.
It was a great quarter for the Heat as they took a 10 point lead into the second quarter.
Miami continued to excel into the second quarter with Goran shaking off some rust for a three. Goran was amazing in this quarter, hitting four threes in the quarter to bring his point total to 25 and showing why he was an All-Star last season.
The Heat continued its tough defense, making it tough for the Warriors to make their shots. Still, they’re so good they still managed to hit quite a few. With Dragic’s offensive assault, the Heat were able to take a 21 point lead. They wouldn’t slow down with Justise attacking, and Bam absolutely baptizing Kevin Durant on an alley-oop to put an exclamation point on a 21-6 scoring run.
It’s worth noting that Goran and Winslow played just fine together on the court. Both had their opportunities on offense and made the most of them. They can co-exist just fine.
As the half came to a close, the Warriors would put together a small run. Still, Miami put up 74 points in the first half which is very impressive. They’d take a 15 point lead into the second half.
Miami was colder to start the third, but the Warriors came alive to start some trouble. All of sudden the Warriors went on a 17-6 scoring run. Kelly Olynyk did a great job on both ends to try and slow the Warriors’ pace down. He was excellent scoring, and was a beast boxing out on the defensive end.
Miami’s shot selection was iffy in the third. After finding success on high percentage looks, they started to force contested jumpers and were met with many bricks.
The Warriors would claw back into striking distance, but Josh Richardson came alive hitting some great shots to keep the Warriors at bay. (Does that count as a Bay Area pun?)
Still, the otherworldly Warriors found ways to score and ramp up the pace to keep the Heat on their heels. With 2 minutes left in the quarter, Dwyane Wade hit a three to keep Miami ahead comfortable and Udonis would enter the game. With Derrick Jones Jr converting on a great put-back, and Rodney McGruder getting to the line, the Heat would steal back momentum. After a hard fought quarter they’d take an 8 point lead into the fourth.
The Heat started the quarter off with two fantastic defensive possessions. Dragic would go from taking a hard charge, to a great layup to keep the Heat ahead. The Heat battled doing everything in their power to keep the lead. However, the Warriors continued to creep, hitting some big shots to keep things way too close.
A few missed shot attempts caused the Heat to stall offensively. Kevin Durant would take full advantage and tie the game up. Bam seemed to take personal offense to the tie and delivered an absolute rim crusher on the other end. Richardson followed that up with a big three to take a five point lead once again.
On the other end Klay Thompson hit a big three and was fouled by Waiters. He’d of course convert on the free throw bringing the Warriors within one. Thompson would hit another three moments later to steal the lead.
Luckily the Heat weren’t done yet with Richardson tying things up off a great Bam pass. Still mistakes reared their ugly head as he’d travel on the following possession. Curry scored off an impressive layup to put Miami down two, but it was Wade who’d tie things up for Miami shortly after on a beautiful jumper.
Just when it seemed Miami was gaining momentum, Durant hit a huge three and was fouled at the same time by Bam. That put the Warriors up four. On the other end, Bam got to the line to cut things to two.
Kelly had a huge steal to give Miami a chance to take the lead, but missed on a wide open three. A Justise foul sent Jordan Bell to the line, putting the Warriors up four once again. Just when things seemed bleak, Wade hit a huge three to get the Heat within one. Miami intentionally fouled KD, who would miss one of his free throws giving the Heat a huge chance.
What appeared to be a botched possession, would result in amazing Dwyane Wade game winner. As Heat fans we live for moments like this. This team still has some fight left.