Warriors defeat a strong Heat effort thanks to a vintage Splash Bros closeout
Just wait till Klay can play 35 minutes!
The Golden State Warriors knocked off the Miami Heat in a thrilling 123-110 victory last night in Chase Center, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Let’s jump into the win!
The Splash Bros reign continues
Miami sharpshooters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson have been advertised as the second coming of the Splash Bros for their long range prowess and ability to get hot quickly.
But last night Golden State’s defense kept them out of rhythm with acute attention to detail.
Herro scored 7 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field, 1-of-5 from 3PT range
Robinson scored 3 points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field, 1-of-5 from 3PT range
Meanwhile, the true Splash Bros were gunning all night, landing haymakers down the stretch.
Stephen Curry: 33 points on 13-of-22 shooting from the field, 7-of-14 from 3PT range, 9 assists, 7 rebounds
Klay Thompson: 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting, 5-of-14 from 3PT range
A combined 28 three-pointers attempted from these two legends hahaha talk about shooting till the clip is empty! Curry dazzled the fans and destroyed Miami with his lethal combo of ball-handling and disrespectful bombing.
Meanwhile when he wasn’t cooking he was looking to get his guy Thompson going as the younger Splash Bro gets back into game conditioning after a limited preseason.
They were especially tough to handle late, with Curry scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter while Thompson was right behind him with 6 points in the final frame. That’s 16 of their team’s 31 fourth quarter points, while Miami could only muster 23. Both Splash Bros hit two big-time threes to clinch the game, combining to go 4-of-6 from beyond the arc with the game in the balance. Here’s their combined shot chart in the fourth quarter.
When those guys are hitting daggers down the stretch, just say Night Night to the other team. That’s the beauty of having the Steph-Klay combo; their combined gravity warps the defense in ways that not only free up other teammates, but also give the greatest shooting backcourt of all-time the windows they need to bury deadly shots.
Meanwhle the true heir to the Splash Bro throne Jordan Poole continued to flourish in his new role as chief distributor for the second unit, scoring 11 points and racking up 7 assists. Poole is currently tied with Curry for team high average in assists, with both of them dishing out six per night. Might this be the first season since 2019-2020 that Draymond Green doesn’t lead the team in assists? Stay tuned.
The Heat are a good test
The Dubs have won three straight against the Heat, including sweeping them in the regular season last year. That’s rather impressive considering Miami was in the Eastern Conference Finals last year and perhaps one errant Jimmy Butler bomb away from meeting the Warriors in the championship round.
I enjoy watching Miami play because they have a proud culture forged in the legendary Pat Riley’s grit, with the brilliant schematic adjustments of coach Erik Spoelstra’s cunning ways. Every time the Warriors play them, it’s a good benchmark for where the Dubs are at.
Am I the only one who saw Bam Adebayo balling out last night at center for Miami and dream that Warriors big man James Wiseman could one day approximate that on a nightly basis?
Wiseman had 10 points and 6 rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench last night, but he may have had 40 points if the team could figure out how to lob him the ball when he’s got great position under the rim.
But hey, learning how to feed a young hungry giant is a fun exercise for this team to figure out over the long season. That’s a big part of why this season is so fun: we get to watch the Dubs learn valuable lessons on a nightly basis while still being the reigning champions.
Lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga got 0 minutes last night, and the Warriors leaders had something interesting notes in their press conference lasts night:
Juicy intrigue for the season, amirite?
I remember in the early 2010’s when the Heat were forging a dynasty and going to the Finals every year while the disheveled Warriors were desperately trying to get at least some moral victories after decades of trash basketball. Here’s probably my earliest Draymond Green memory as a Dub, back in 2012 when he hit the game winner on the mighty Heat in Miami thanks in large part to the Splash Bros gravity:
Looking back on that era, the Heat had the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in their primes, while the Dubs were trying to develop Steph, Klay, and Dray.
Now those Dubs are their own historically dominant Big 3. But unlike those top heavy Heat teams, these Warriors have a second unit filled with youthful prospects with high ceilings.
The Dubs are getting to develop lottery picks on the fly while still retaining the safety net of a championship winning core to keep the ship on course. Andrew Wiggins tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds last night, while Draymond Green is looking spry like it’s 2016 again.
The core is looking GOOD; now it’s just about getting the second unit up to speed. That’s a beautiful problem to have, and I can’t wait to watch how these guys figure it out.