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Heat outlast Warriors in a thriller, win 116-109

Despite a shaky start, the Heat were able to regain its bearings and deliver a gutsy win at home against the defending NBA Champions

Golden State Warriors v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

First Half:

The beginning of this game was reminiscent of last week’s back and forth matchup. But that only lasted a second with the Golden State Warriors carving up the Miami Heat defense and the Heat missing easy buckets.

For much of the first quarter Caleb Martin was clearly Miami’s most effective offensive weapon. The Heat looked unsure of itself going 3/12 to start and bricking makeable looks. It also doesn’t help when you’re being cooked from three by...Draymond Green. With the reserves in, Tyler Herro would close the gap to get Miami back within striking distance by slicing to the rim on a good drive.

Led by Duncan Robinson and Max Strus and some strong Dedmon defense, Miami stole back the lead. Surging on a 17-3 run, Max Strus closed the quarter with a buzzer beater three to make it 20-3 and finish the quarter strong.

The Warriors pulled right back to start the second with the Heat struggling to guard the paint as well as the three. The Heat desperately need some added size on this team, but they were able to make do on some big defensive plays to stay ahead. The Heat’s switch to a 2-3 zone was effective at slowing down the Warriors’ pace, but they still hung around uncomfortably close. Thankfully on the other end, Bam was putting on an alley-oop show as he slammed it down multiple times to keep the Heat ahead. That compiled with Jimmy hitting a couple threes, Max finishing well at the rim and Kyle finally converting a field goal allowed the Heat to stay ahead by two to end the half.

Second Half:

After getting poked in the eye and leaving the game, Herro wouldn’t return with Strus starting the second half in his place. Strus was exceptinal continuing to do damage offensively. Things got all tied up, and the back and forth battle these two teams are getting known for would continue. The Warriors snuck back into the lead, leaving Miami within striking distance but with Steph Curry coming alive things quickly became an uphill battle.

With Miami down by 10 it was Lowry, who’d step up scoring and doing his best to set up his teammates. The Heat missing open looks made things increasingly difficult as it chipped away at the lead. Gabe Vincent, Jimmy and Dedmon hit some key buckets to get Miami close again and they were helped along by some undisciplined mistakes by Golden State.

Lowry got the fourth quarter going with another three and at the same time becoming #12 on the all-time three pointer list. Strus followed that up with one of his own and just like that the Heat were down by two...but seconds later it was an eight point lead again. Thankfully the Heat were undeterred continuing to chip away off some great offensive looks and keep things within three. Duncan tied things up with just over 7 minutes to go on an 8-0 run, and that’s when the leads started alternating again.

With the game tied and just over three minutes to go Kyle slashed to the rim for a huge bucket and Jimmy followed that up with an and one.

The Warriors didn’t go away with Wiggins coming up in clutch situations, but a crucial challenge to overturn a Curry three point foul went Miami’s way shifting things in favor of the Heat. Two crucial possesions went to Gabe Vincent who was forced to put up looks that certainly weren’t ideal leaving the Warriors a good chance to tie things up. Thankfully they wouldn’t allowing Jimmy to put the dagger in on a nice jump shot and secure the win for the Heat.

As Pepas echoed through the arena, the Heat finally looked happy.