Gameday: Warriors at Heat - 1/2/14
The hottest team in the NBA stayed hot on Thursday night as the Warriors defeated the Heat 123-114 in Miami. The Dubs have now won seven games in a row and are the first Western Conference team to beat the defending champs on their own home floor since the Warriors did so last season. Stephen Curry put on a show, recording another double-double with 36 points and 12 assists. David Lee was equally impressive, notching another double-double of his own with 32 points and 14 rebounds. The victory pushes the Warriors’ record to 21-13. They’ll look to keep the streak going on Friday when they play the Hawks in Atlanta.
On the game:
“The Miami HEAT are a great basketball team with some all-time great players. Tonight we (Golden State Warriors) executed, battled, competed, made shots and defended at a high level. Stephen Curry was spectacular. David Lee has been off the charts the last 12 games. He really carried us at times tonight. It was just a huge win for us.”
“We (Golden State Warriors) competed on the defensive end and were engaged. The offense is going to come and go.”
“We (Golden State Warriors) wanted to push the tempo. Fortunately, we did. We began to get some quality shots and get some stops. It was just a big win for us against the defending NBA World Champions.”
On the Golden State Warriors:
“We (Golden State Warriors) are a good basketball team. We want to win the games we are supposed to win and against the elite teams, whether home or away, we want to battle and compete to give ourselves a chance to win. Tonight, I thought we did that. We competed and understood the task that was at hand. I am awfully proud of our guys (Golden State Warriors).”
“We (Golden State Warriors) are not going to overreact on the win, negatively or positively. We know who we are. Now it is about sticking to the game plan and fulfilling the call.”
On Stephen Curry:
“He (Stephen Curry) has been specular all year long and this is the level he has played at. It is great to see him get the recognition he deserves, especially as a coach. I am so fortunate and blessed to coach this guy because he is a better person than he is a basketball player.”
On LeBron James:
“You can’t take credit for defense against LeBron James because against the same defense he can get 50 points. So we just wanted to defend him collectively and try to keep him away from the paint and the rim. There is no secret; he is that great that the majority of the time you are not successful in doing it. He is an all-time great and the best small forward that has ever played the game in my opinion.”
On the game:
“Everybody participated tonight. Our goal was, since we won the games we were supposed to win the first part of the road trip, we came in really willing to roll the dice and be aggressive from the jump. That’s what we tried to do. We started the game off very strong and just happy that we were able to sustain it the entire game, because as you know they are a championship level team that are going to make plays down the stretch. They are not going to give up until the last buzzer.”
“I think this was just another game, but I’m happy the way our team responded to playing against a great team on the road. We have a lot of respect for those guys and a lot of the players on their team. I thought we showed defensively we can really lock down. We’re just going to continue to try and get better each game. I thought tonight was a step in the right direction.”
On the team's confidence:
“More than anything, it keeps the ball rolling. We won six in a row. Any time you play champions like this, it’s a good measuring point for you and tonight was no exception. We were happy to get a win. Make it seven in a row and continue this long road trip.”
On Stephen Curry's play:
“He’s getting very smart about when to pick and choose his spots. In the first quarter, when they were trapping him like they were, he got rid of the ball quick and I was able to make plays.”
“He’s really gaining that experience of how teams are playing him and how to react to it.”
On Stephen Curry's three-point shooting:
“He’s on balance the majority of the time and is taking good ones. He rarely takes something out of the flow, and if he does, a lot of times it goes in, so we forgive him for it. He’s an unbelievable shooter and, like I said, his decision making is getting better and better on when to go on one of his 10-0 runs on his own, and when to get the pressure off himself by dishing the ball. He is second in the league in assists and a lot of people don’t talk about that.”
On the game:
“Everybody pitched in. We knew it was going to take a complete 48 minute effort from every guy that stepped onto the floor. Our energy was pretty hot from the start.”
“It’s more just about what we’re doing. Obviously we know who were playing against and how tough it is to win here, but it’s more about continuing our performance that we put on in the last two weeks.”
“We’re not circling games because of who we are playing, because we feel like if we play the way we’re supposed to, we’re going to be in every game and have a chance to win it every single night. You have to have tunnel vision when it comes to that.”
“If you come in here and play the way we did tonight, it shows that we’re on the right path. If we keep our head down and keep working we’ll be alright.”
STREAKING INTO 2014
The Warriors head into 2014 with the longest active winning streak in the NBA. After winning their last six games, the team has climbed to within a game of the division-leading Clippers in the standings. Thursday’s game in South Beach will certainly be a test for the Warriors, who are looking to recapture the magic from last year’s seven-game road trip, one that saw the Dubs come up victorious in Miami in dramatic fashion.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors were clicking on all cylinders as they closed out 2013 with a 94-81 road win over the Magic on Tuesday. David Lee led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds as the Warriors built a big lead early en route to their sixth straight win. Kent Bazemore added 12 points to lead all Warriors reserves, who played the entire fourth quarter. The Dubs held the Magic to 38.2 percent shooting and won in Orlando for just the second time in their last 10 tries. GAME RECAP
WHAT A YEAR
Perhaps no player’s star-power grew more in 2013 than that of Stephen Curry. His breakout performance in the 2013 NBA Playoffs let everyone else know what #DubNation had known for quite some time – Number 30 on the Warriors is much more than just a shooter. Curry has followed up that playoff success with perhaps his best year as a pro. He ranks eighth in the NBA in scoring (22.9 ppg), second in assists (9.5 apg) and third in made 3-pointers. He has become an elite playmaker and the Warriors are 12-2 this season when he gets at least 10 assists. DUB THE VOTE
OWNING THE BOARDS
While the Warriors certainly have some areas to improve on in the New Year, rebounding isn’t one of them. The Dubs are tied for second in the league by grabbing 52.2 percent of available rebounds. The Warriors out-rebounded Orlando 56-37 on Tuesday, marking the league-leading 14th time, and ninth in the last 12 games, that they have registered at least 50 boards. Andrew Bogut and David Lee rank in the league’s top 15 in rebounding, and both Draymond Green and Marreese Speights excel in that department as reserves.
MIAMI SCOUTING REPORT
The Heat have won each of the last two NBA Finals, and they are certainly on the short list of 2013-14 championship contenders. Miami currently leads the NBA in field goal percentage (.511) and is third in assists (24.1 apg), and it’s no secret that all of their success starts with the best player in the world – LeBron James. The four-time NBA MVP is having yet another amazing season, averaging 25.5 points and 6.6 assists per game. In addition to James, Chris Bosh has also been playing very well as of late. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week recently had a 37-point night capped by a game-winning 3-pointer in Portland. On paper, this is the Warriors’ toughest game on the road trip, and they’ll need to be at their best if they want their winning streak to continue through their first game of 2014.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Jermaine O’Neal (right wrist surgery) are out.
MIA: Greg Oden (knee rehabilitation), Chris Andersen (sore back) and Dwyane Wade (upper back spasm).