It’s a familiar story for the 2017-18 Golden State Warriors: On Sunday, they started the second half with a two-point lead and finished the third quarter with a 20-plus-point advantage.
The Dubs were able to shake off a free Saturday in Miami to beat the Heat, 123-95.
Their defense was stifling. The hosts shot just 41 percent from the field and head coach Steve Kerr improved to 98-4 when his team holds its opponent under 100 points.
“We were out all night,” Kerr joked to reporters after the game. “… We were at a rave actually.”
Kerr was likely making light of the Warriors’ loss in South Beach last year, when they looked sluggish in an early game after a day off and fell on a last-second shot.
Golden State had none of those problems this season.
Stephen Curry had his second-straight hot-shooting game with a bandage on his right hand, scoring 30 points on 16 shots.
“The pain is what it is, and the more you have to play through it, the more you have to block it out,” Curry told reporters. “It’s more so getting used to the wrap and tape. … After the Laker game, I was fine.”
The Warriors also punished the Heat inside. Miami was playing without center Hassan Whiteside, who has a bone bruise on his knee. Without a rim protector, Golden State was free to attack the basket, leading to high-percentage shots.
The other factor that led to their efficient night was throwing just 10 turnovers, tied for the season-low.
Kevin Durant scored a quiet 24 points, while throwing seven assists.
Klay Thompson extended his streak of games with at least one 3-pointer made to 78, tying Dennis Scott for the fifth-longest stretch in NBA history.
Thompson, known sun lover, credited the South Florida weather for the positive vibes helping the Warriors.
“I love coming to Miami, I’m so happy Steve gave me an off day, be able to go to the beach,” Thompson told reporters. “It’s just good for your soul, and your body. It’s good for your mind, especially.”
Nobody is surprised Klay enjoyed an off day at the beach ☀️😎🏖️ pic.twitter.com/wW70jSRLuR
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 4, 2017
Veteran guard Shaun Livingston was ejected from the game about midway through the second quarter for bumping into official Courtney Kirkland.
“Shaun is not that type of player,” Kevin Durant told reporters. “He’s a pro that has been in the league for so long and he just plays the game, doesn’t really say much. So, you could tell things got a little heated there. … It did look, watching it, that Courtney stepped into his face.”
After the game, Livingston tweeted a picture of famous tough-guy actor Danny Trejo eating a Snickers with the caption “#GoodWinTho”
— Shaun Livingston (@ShaunLivingston) December 4, 2017