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Heat fall to shorthanded Warriors 118-104

Despite a third quarter rally, the Heat were out of sync on both ends losing a very winnable game against a shorthanded Warriors team.

Golden State Warriors v Miami Heat Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

First Half:

After struggling so much from beyond the arc this season, it was Jimmy who’d open the game with a go-ahead three. Miami came out with energy, pushing the pace as much as possible in transition. Miami would stall offensively, while the shorthanded Warriors closed the gap. It was Poole, Looney, and Wiggins who caused trouble for the Heat early on, but with Lowry and Jimmy stepping up from three Miami was able to build a firm lead on a 13-0 run with just over 6 minutes left in the first quarter.

Jordan Poole looked to be tonight’s Heat killer as he feasted Miami’s defense, scoring 9 first-quarter points to get Golden State right back within striking distance. Miami did not score for the 4 minutes in 20 seconds of the first after a hot start. They’d go into the second quarter tied 23-23.

Bam halted a 13-0 run by the Warriors to start the second, but still the Dubs held the lead. It’s worth noting how good Vic looked moving on the court tonight, he’s still rusty in terms of being able to score, but he looks athletic and quick. Miami’s offense looked out of sorts with the Heat being held 24 seconds nearly every time they had possession. Luckily, Lowry and Oladipo hit some big shots to keep the game close.

Miami’s defense was porous, as they let Kuminga assault the rim and surrender the lead. The Heat looked tired, and despite keeping the score close it was surprising to see from this team.

Jimmy carried the offense for much of the second quarter, but it was a Dedmon three (yes, you read that right) that would get Miami within 2 points. Kyle Lowry went wild to end the half and tie things up on some beautiful buckets. He’s going to be essential come playoff time.

Second Half:

Kuminga opened up the second half with another bucket, and with Wiggins and Poole also balling, Miami quickly went down 10 points. Miami just didn’t seem to have an answer for Golden State. At times it really seemed like the Heat were playing with each other for the first time on offense. Just like that, Miami went down 19 points with Poole absolutely surging and the Heat unable to score a bucket.

Miami did get a couple of baskets with Lowry and Bam trying to get things going and eventually turned that into a 14-4 run to chip away slightly. PJ Tucker and Bam hit some key shots to get Miami within six, as they found a little bit of an offensive rhythm. Bam was really solid getting to the line tonight, he’s improved his aggression lately and it's paying off in free throws. After falling behind 19, Miami chipped back to get within one as the quarter came to a close off a huge Lowry three that saw him pass JJ Redick on the all-time three-pointers list. Miami had momentum heading into the fourth.

A Dedmon bunny put Miami ahead to start the fourth, and Kyle Lowry picked up where he left off in the third with some beautiful buckets. Still, the Warriors didn’t go silently clawing their way back to a four-point lead.

Miami got many good looks but struggled to convert leaving the Warriors an opening that they’d use to get ahead eight. It didn’t help that Jordan Poole came alive at the worst possible time to up the lead to 10. Bam cut the lead to seven, but every time the Heat scored, the Warriors answered. The Heat ultimately ran out of time, losing what should have been a win against a shorthanded Warriors team.

On nights like this, it’s important to really appreciate the talent on an NBA bench. Anything can happen any night. The Heat needs to regroup and get ready for the Knicks Friday night.

The Skirmish:

Tempers flared between Jimmy and Coach Spo and Udonis Haslem during a timeout, while things did get settled eventually (according to the post-game pressers) it wasn’t a good look at the time. The full video is below.