Curry leads Warriors to win in Miami

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after Thursday's 123-114 win over the Miami Heat that if guard Stephen Curry doesn't make the NBA All-Star team this year, he "might retire."

After Curry buried the Heat with 36 points, few if any Miami players or coaches would doubt that the Warriors star is worthy of such status.

Curry also had a game-high 12 assists to help the Warriors to their seventh consecutive win.

"He's an unbelievable shooter," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Curry. "You have to get to him very quickly because of his range and the different ways he can get into the three -- off the dribble, off the catch, running him off screens ... He put on a clinic."

Indeed, the Warriors and Curry dented the Heat's defense for the highest totals by an opposing team and player this season.

Curry, who set an NBA record with 272 3-pointers last season, made eight of 15 attempts from long distance Thursday. Overall, he made 13 of 22 shots from the floor and two of three from the foul line.

Asked if he is ever surprised when any team gives him space to shoot, Curry credited his teammates.

"We have so many weapons," he said. "Earlier in the game, (the Heat were) being aggressive on pick-and-rolls. (Warriors forward David Lee) was able to catch the ball in the post and at the elbow and make some plays.

"They had to make an adjustment, and I was able to find some daylight."

Lee added 32 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, making 13 of 17 shots from the floor.

"Hash-tag full squad," Lee said of the team effort. "Everybody participated. Since we won the games we were supposed to win on the first part of this road trip, we came in here willing to roll the dice and be aggressive from the jump.

"I'm happy we were able to sustain it for the entire game because (the Heat) are a championship-level team that will make plays down the stretch. They're not going to give up until the final buzzer. We kept our turnovers (18) down to a reasonable level."

The Warriors also shot 56.1 percent from the floor and led after every quarter. Golden State's largest lead was 15 points.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson added 16 points, and forward Harrison Barnes came off the bench to score 15 points.

The Heat (24-8) won eight of their previous nine games, but they could not stop the Warriors' offense.

Miami forward LeBron James finished with a team-high 26 points and a season-high eight turnovers.

"You don't take credit for defense against LeBron," Jackson said. "(Against) the same defense, he can get 50. We just wanted to battle, compete -- defend him collectively. We wanted to keep him away from the paint and the rim -- there's no secret.

"He is the best small forward who has ever played the game in my opinion, and he is still in his prime, which is absolutely scary."

Four other Heat players scored in double figures: guard Dwyane Wade with 22 points, forward Chris Bosh with 19 points, guard Mario Chalmers with 17 points and forward Shane Battier with 11 points.

Golden State (21-13) shot a blistering 79 percent in the first quarter to take a 38-33 lead. The Warriors made 15 of 19 shots, including five of six 3-pointers.

It was the most points the Heat allowed in any quarter all season.

The Warriors cooled off in the second quarter, shooting 47 percent, but they still led 65-61 at halftime.

The Warriors outscored the Heat 31-26 in the third quarter to take a 96-87 lead. Curry, who had nine points in the first quarter and five in the second, heated up in the third with 14 points.

By that point, the Heat was in serious trouble.

"They played a heck of a game and deserved to win," Spoelstra said of the Warriors. "Not just the three-point shooting -- when they needed to make plays at pivotal times, they made them, and we did not."

NOTES: Warriors coach Mark Jackson and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra were each issued technical fouls in the second half. ... The Heat allowed 94 points per game in November, but that number rose to 100 in December. ... Heat G Dwyane Wade (back spasms) and G Norris Cole (face injury) were cleared to play. ... Heat F Chris "Birdman" Andersen, who missed the past three games because of back spasms, also was cleared. ... While preparing to take 3-point shots in the corner, Warriors SG Klay Thompson stepped out of bounds -- twice -- in the first quarter. ... Up next, the Warriors play the fourth of a seven-game road trip at Atlanta. ... The Heat take a short trip to play the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
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