Despite a late scratch to Draymond Green during warmups and a return to earth for Steph Curry’s three-point shooting percentage, assertive play from Kent Bazemore and a late rally from the two-time MVP propelled the Golden State Warriors to a win over the Miami Heat at the Chase Center Wednesday Night.
The Golden State Warriors were already without C James Wiseman and PF Kevon Looney Wednesday night at home for their matchup against the Miami Heat, and were notified during shootaround that Draymond Green would be unable to go due to ankle soreness.
Warriors star Stephen Curry entered the game riding an impressive streak, becoming the first NBA player since Michael Jordan to score 25 points in 10 straight games shooting above 50%. However, that prolific spell would come to a conclusion against the Heat, as Curry struggled to hit the Pacific Ocean for most of the contest, finishing with 25 points on 8-25 shooting and 5-20 from long-range.
Neither team was able to establish outright dominance in the first quarter, as Steph’s six missed three-point field goals were the most misses through an opening quarter across his entire career. Miami’s Tyler Herro was strong off the bench for the Heat, and eight first-half assists from Jimmy Butler on the way to his third straight triple-double combined with 14 dubious points from Kendrick Nunn in the first two quarters helped the Heat jump out to a 15-point lead before the break.
The Warriors doubled down on their commitment to defense in the second half, increasing their energy but limiting the number of fouls committed. After trading buckets for most of the third quarter, Golden State entered the fourth down 10 with Curry still struggling, having made just two of his 15 three-point attempts until that point.
However, the two-time MVP, who is making a damn good case for his third, found his spark when it mattered most, knocking down a contested three with just under two and a half minutes remaining to bring the game within two points.
STEPH. pic.twitter.com/WmMSg3Q50Z— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 18, 2021
With a fiercely contested game on the line, Kent Bazemore delivered his best performance of the year, coming alive for the final two baskets of regulation before tipping in the Warriors’ first go-ahead bucket of the game with just 1:38 remaining in OT.
KENT BAZEMORE APPRECIATION POST pic.twitter.com/nxt7YqpmZy— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 18, 2021
By this point, the Dubs were simply outworking an exhausted Miami team, as Curry splashed in two more three-pointers and two free throws to ice a game in which the Warriors had trailed throughout.
Steph could be seen having a little fun after finishing off the Heat, and his wife, Ayesha Curry, got in on it too.
STEPHEN— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 18, 2021
Daggggerrrrrrr— Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) February 18, 2021
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was high on Steph's confidence postgame.
"He's just the kind of player and kind of person who can be in the midst of one of his worst shooting nights of the year and still hit three enormous shots to help us win the game," Kerr said in his Zoom conference. "He hasn't just built up his body and his skill over the years, I think he's built up his mind. He's so strong willed that he doesn't let things bother him, and he knows that the law of averages [is] gonna play out, he has so much belief in his shot that he's gonna keep shooting."
The victory marks the warriors’ 16th win this campaign, eclipsing the entire win total from last season. The Warriors will look to win three in a row for the first time this year Saturday night in Orlando at 4PM PST.
Top Image: Courtesy of Golden State Warriors