Goran Dragic’s hot shooting not enough, Warriors blow out Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 3: Goran Dragic
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 3: Goran Dragic /

The Miami Heat weren’t able to outplay the Golden State Warriors on Sunday evening, despite Goran Dragic’s performance.

This season has come with many early highs and lows for the Miami Heat, and another one of those low moments came on Sunday.

Hosting the defending champion Golden State Warriors in their final meeting of the regular season, the Heat saw their home record take another tally in the loss column. Despite 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting from Goran Dragic and 14 points and seven rebounds from Kelly Olynyk, the Warriors effectively ran Miami off their own home floor, routing them 123-95.

Josh Richardson recorded 12 points and Tyler Johnson added 13 off the bench for a Heat team that has now dropped three of its last four games. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 30 points and Kevin Durant scored 24 points and handed out seven assists, as Golden State had swept Miami for the second time in three seasons.

The Heat jumped on the Warriors early, racing out to a 10-2 lead within the game’s first three minutes. Dragic’s strong first quarter gave Miami a 36-28 lead, with less than a minute to go. Golden State would counteract that with five quick points to end the period, cutting the Heat’s lead to just 36-33 heading into the second.

Both teams would continue to trade blows throughout the second period, with the lead changing hands multiple times within that time span.

Olynyk recorded seven points in the quarter and Wayne Ellington added six, as Miami headed to the locker room down 62-60.

That’s the closest the Heat would get to regaining the lead.

When the second half began, Golden State quickly stepped on Miami’s throats and reminded them why they’re the defending champs.

"“When they smell blood, they go for it,” said head coach Erik Spoelstra."

The Warriors opened the half on a 18-3 run, knocking down shots with ease. In less than five minutes of okay, their lead had grown from two to 17.

"“The first half, we competed with them,” Dragic said. “Second half, we didn’t.”"

During that stretch, Golden State knocked down 10-of-11 shots, including two 3-pointers by Curry, who had 30 points in just 28 minutes by then. The Warriors boasted a 99-77 lead going into the fourth, and Curry and Durant did not see the floor again for the rest of the night.

Ironically, Golden State’s reserves still managed 24 points in the fourth period, and the lead had grown to 33 at one point. Overall, Miami was outscored by 26 in the second half, which has been a key area of concern for the Heat thus far.

Miami (11-12) will be back on the road for matchups with the likes of the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies in the next week,

Spoelstra credited the Warriors’ tenacity in the second half, and feels that their roster is full of players able to flip the switch at any time.

"“So many of their guys just come alive when they start to get it rolling,” Spoelstra said. “And each one of them becomes ignitable. We have a couple of guys that are ignitable. They have a roster full of guys that really start foaming at the mouth when the game starts to turn.”"

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