MIAMI (AP)—Sensing another game may be starting to slip away, the Miami Heat predictably asked a guard to get them rolling.
For a change, it wasn’t Dwyane Wade.
Kapono had 15 points in the second quarter as the Heat took the lead for good.
“I got good quality looks and obviously my teammates did a good job of finding me,” said Kapono, whose previous career best was 25. “And the style of play, too. It was an open court game, there were more shots out there to take and I was taking them.”
Alonzo Mourning had 14 points and Udonis Haslem added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the defending NBA champion Heat, who got back to .500 at home (7-7) and tuned up for their Christmas Day showdown against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers by holding the Warriors to 37 percent shooting.
“We didn’t really have anybody who played well enough to help us stay in the thing,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “It was one of those deals.”
Kapono outscored the Warriors’ bench by himself, 27-26. It was the first time in the Heat’s last 21 games with Wade that someone other than the reigning NBA finals MVP led Miami in scoring.
Kapono hit 11 of 18 shots and finished with the eighth-best scoring effort by a reserve in Heat history, only two points shy of the team’s off-the-bench mark. Voshon Lenard had 29 points in 1999 for the Miami reserve record, and there’s been six 28-point efforts by Heat reserves.
“He’s been solid at both ends of the court,” Heat coach Pat Riley said. “In the system he’s been really good, effort has been good and he’s been playing very well offensively. He’s one of our key guys in the rotation now.”
Golden State lost guard Monta Ellis late in the third quarter with an injured right shoulder. Ellis entered as the Warriors’ second-leading scorer, averaging 17.6 points.
Barnes hit a 3-pointer with 10:27 left that got Golden State within 85-71 before Kapono answered with a jumper from the left corner on Miami’s next possession, and the outcome wasn’t really in doubt from there.
“Jason is one of the best shooters in the league,” Wade said. “He’s got one of the quickest releases in the league. Once he’s moving and a team, when they play zone, sometimes they lose track of the guy who’s moving and we knew Jason would have a great opportunity.”
Richardson had 14 points in the game’s first 16:04, the last of those coming on a jumper that put Golden State up 36-31. The Warriors led much of the early going, despite missing 27 of their first 43 shots even as Richardson got off to a hot start.
But Kapono had 11 of his 19 first-half points in a 22-7 run over the final 7:30 of the half, sending Miami into the break with a 53-43 lead. The margin wasn’t less than 10 the rest of the way.
“They started hitting some shots,” Richardson said. “Kapono got hot on us. He just went on a roll. We were staying in the game until he got hot.”
Top price for seats offered by Heat season-ticket holders to the Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers? $3,450 apiece, set of four, located eight rows behind the basket nearest to the Miami bench. … The Warriors used their 16th different lineup of the season. … Davis’ first two shots were blocked, one by Mourning, one by Wade, all in the first 2:48. … Mourning blocked Barnes twice around the basket in a 3-second span of the first quarter. … Kapono has matched a career-high by hitting a 3-pointer in nine consecutive games. … Richardson started 6-for-11 from the floor, then went 1-for-8 the rest of the way.