Finished TV: FSN | NBATV | NBCS - BA | TSN Oracle Arena Oakland
The Golden State Warriors own the best record in the Western Conference and earned wins in 14 of the last 15 games, but occasional poor performances still haunt the team. The Warriors will look to bounce back from one such effort when they host the Miami Heat on Sunday.
Golden State showed off just how dominant it can be with a 141-102 triumph over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday but struggled to pull out a 117-107 victory at West-worst Phoenix on Friday. "The Suns did a pretty good job of it," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "They totally outplayed us all night. The only reason we won is because we have a lot more talent, obviously. ... It's not a game that we're going to be particularly proud of, but we'll take the win and move on." The Heat, who squandered a fourth-quarter lead in a 102-96 loss at Sacramento on Friday, will take any win they can find after dropping four of their last five games to fall three games under .500. "Overall, they stepped up their pressure and we weren't able to respond with detail, focus, execution and they were able to take control in the fourth quarter," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "Thirteen points obviously in that fourth quarter was not enough, I don't think it would have required a 30-point quarter. But lower 20s?"
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS Sun (Miami), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE HEAT (25-28): Miami sent away guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington prior to Thursday's trade deadline, opening a starting spot for shooting guard Dion Waiters and more playing time for veteran Dwyane Wade. Waiters responded with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting in a season-high 32 minutes while Wade scored 15 off the bench on Friday. "It just felt good," Waiters told reporters. "Now it's about getting the rust off and things like that, and just being more aggressive. Just trying to go out there and make plays and just get back in the swing of things. Really, it's pretty much downhill from here."
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (39-15): Golden State power forward Draymond Green was ejected from Friday's game for arguing with the referees while center DeMarcus Cousins was hit with a technical foul. Cousins, who is easing his way into the rotation after recovering from Achilles surgery, is taking his role as an energy-producer for the team seriously. "I was honestly just trying to perform on the floor, because we came out looking like (expletive) tonight," Cousins told reporters after Friday's win. "(Kevin Durant) hollered at me during the game and was like, 'We've got to bring more energy.' I was like, 'I agree with you 100 percent,' and he was like, 'It starts with me and you.' Our energy is terrible. I just try to make a change on the fly and pull out a tough win."
1. Warriors All-Star SG Klay Thompson is 12-of-17 from 3-point range over the last three games.
2. Heat C Hassan Whiteside recorded a double-double in each of the last four games and is shooting 67.3 percent from the floor in that span.
3. Golden State took both meetings last season and seven of the last eight in the series.
PREDICTION: Warriors 125, Heat 110 Bet Now
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