Stephen Curry beat his shooting slump on Tuesday night, scoring 40 points with 11-of-18 shooting, helping the Golden State Warriors down the Miami Heat 114-97 and making it the sixth consecutive victory for the Warriors.
As Curry put it, “you just feel a rhythm.” Though he had been 8-for-24 in the last two games he played, early in the game some of his teammates set up some great screens to get him going. Then he started finding shots and, in his words, “it feels good.” He even felt good about the ones he missed.
Klay Thompson scored 24 points for his Warriors, who shot some 57 percent overall. Curry finished the game 8-of-11 at 3-point range.
Curry pointed out that part of the secret was always staying confident and ready. Each game is different, and his experience is that you win games “all sorts of ways” with different performances every time. The way the Warriors shot during the last game had little to do with how they shot this game. As long as they did a good job on offense, he felt, he’d have good shots open to him. (To see Curry’s next performance, get NBA tickets here.)
Golden State managed to score 14 points straight, opening a 107-95 lead at 2:50 to go. Then Thomson and Curry capped the run, shooting consecutive 3-pointers.
Steve Kerr, the Warriors’ coach, pointed out that the beautiful thing about his team was the ability to play both ends. They have players who can score, and players who can guard.
On Miami’s side, Chris Bosh managed to pull off scoring 26 points for the Heat, while Luol Deng scored 16. The last field goal for the Heat was James Ennis’ drunk at 9:11 left.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra complimented the Warriors’ fourth-quarter basketball, saying it was their best in the game. In his view the Heat got caught in some “tough possessions,” then the Warriors’ defense stepped up as they started to score. The Heat just weren’t able to sustain it from there.
Miami led the game 16 points during the first half but the Warriors closed the gap during the second quarter, managing a 23-8 surge. Draymond Green pulled off two free throws at 9.8 seconds left, cutting Miami’s lead to just 62-61 during the break.
Then Golden State managed to carry their momentum over into the second half. Curry shot three 3 pointers during the third quarter, then his two free throws at 58.2 seconds left put the Warriors ahead 89-82.
Kerr said that everyone in the Warriors was more in tune during the second half. They managed to get to the Heat’s 3-point shooters and “ran them off the line,” getting the game rolling in the end.
Harrison Barnes finished the game with 12 points while Andrew Bogut racked up 10 rebounds for Golden State. Bogut started despite sustaining an injury on Sunday, a right orbital bone contusion.
Miami still got off to a good start, however. They opened a 31-22 lead with a corner 3-pointer from Mario Chalmers at 1:51 left in the quarter. (Click here for Miami Heat tickets.)
Bosh remarked he doesn’t really get what the team thinks or does down the stretch when playing against the really elite team. For some reason, in his opinion, “we just forget everything,” both offense as well as defense.