Kevin Durant's 39 points and late heroics spoil Dwyane Wade's farewell tour through Oakland

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Sometimes it can be tough to say goodbye to a legend, although the Golden State Warriors only got so sentimental for Dwyane Wade’s last game in Oakland.

Kevin Durant put up a game-high 39 points, and with some late clutch shooting from him and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors came back to top the Miami Heat, 120-118, on Sunday. It was the second straight game the Warriors overcame a double-digit deficit and their 11th overall on the season.

The Heat gained a 19-point first-quarter lead after going on a 24-2 run, although it evaporated nearly as quickly as it came about. The Warriors tied the game late in the second quarter, and neither team gained another double-digit lead with 10 ties or lead changes the rest of the way.

Kevin Durant put the team on his back down the stretch. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Kevin Durant put the team on his back down the stretch. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

After the Warriors pulled ahead for most of the second half, Miami tied it up on Justise Winslow’s clutch 3-pointer with four minutes to go. But Durant would have none of it. The 10-time All-Star responded by making three straight jumpers and a pair of free throws.

Even as Josh Richardson and Wade seemingly took the momentum back with a pair of steals and dunks, Durant responded with huge step-back 29-footer to tie the game.

Although Durant missed a potential game-winning three with mere seconds left, Cousins was able to come up with the rebound and pick up a foul. Cousins knocked down both free throws, and Dion Waiters’ isolation three clanked out to seal the Dubs’ win.

The game was not without controversy, though, as Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was miffed at what he perceived as a missed double dribble call on Durant for the final play. Spoelstra was also not thrilled that his team only got eight free throws to the Warriors’ 26, although he emphasized that was not the only reason they lost.

“And look, NBA do not fine me. I’m allowed to say this,” Spoelstra said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “It’s a double dribble. Everybody can see it. Those are tough calls to make, but everybody saw it. It’s right there in front of everybody. That should be a violation. You can’t miss those calls.”

We will see if the NBA heeds Spoelstra’s pleas to avoid a fine for criticizing referees.

Warriors pay tribute to Wade

Before the game, the Warriors gave a touching tribute to Wade for what will be his final game in Oakland. The 15-year vet has historically played very well against the Warriors, as the 25.3 points per game he averaged against them entering Sunday are higher than his average against any other team.

Although Wade only totaled 10 points on 5-of-14 shooting, he did come up big at the end. Not only did Wade connect with Bam Adebayo on a pair of thunderous alley-oops, his defensive acumen was as strong as ever.

With a minute left in the game, Wade saw Kevin Durant backing down Richardson and jumped in at the exact right time to block his shot and steal the ball. The old man still has it after all.

After the game, Wade swapped jerseys with Stephen Curry, although he’ll have two more chances to play against each other this month. The Heat and Warriors meet one last time in Miami on Feb. 27, and Wade scored a surprise invite to the All-Star Game, where he and Team LeBron will face off against Curry and Team Giannis.

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