Steve Kerr thought the Warriors put the NBA All-Star break behind them Sunday. Or maybe the events of Wednesday night were related to having an off day in Miami.
Dwyane Wade drilled a double-clutch 3-pointer off a broken play at the buzzer to give the Heat a 126-125 win at American Airlines Arena. The Warriors put forth yet another lethargic effort, particularly early, and paid for it at the end.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ second loss in three games:
Don’t blame Klay: Klay Thompson spent most of the game as the Warriors' lone offensive hope. As all his teammates struggled with their shots, Thompson did his part to keep the Warriors in the game, even if at times it seemed in vain.
Thompson scored 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting (75 percent) in the first half, while the rest of the Warriors were 15 of 36 (41.7 percent). Thompson finished with 36 points on 14-of-23 shooting, including 7 of 15 from beyond the arc.
The Warriors fought back from a 24-point deficit. They gave themselves a chance, taking a four-point lead into the final minute.
But if not for Thompson’s work, the Warriors might have been down by 30 or more, with little or no chance for a comeback.
Snooze button on repeat: The Warriors played the first half as if they’d crawled out of bed against their will. They committed four fouls in the first four minutes, and that was just the beginning.
Miami took leads of 18-11, 41-26, 55-38 and 69-45 -- all in the first half. The Heat’s 74 points (on 63.2 percent shooting, including 9 of 18 from deep) is their highest total in any half this season.
Goran Dragic, playing his third game after a two-month absence, scored 25 points in 14 first-half minutes and totaled 27 for the game. Wade had 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the first half and finished with 25.
The Warriors had to go on a 14-5 run simply to pull within 16 (74-59) at the half. It wasn’t until after intermission that they actually seemed alert and engaged, getting back within single digits.
The ragged starts have been an issue in all four games since All-Star Weekend. They’ve gotten away with it twice. Not this time.
KD giveth and taketh away: Durant was 3 of 11 in the first half. He was 1 of 6 from deep, and most of the misses were not particularly close. It looked as if this would be one of those nights he’d want to forget.
That all went away in the second half, most notably in the fourth quarter.
Durant scored 11 points in the fourth, including a massive four-point play with 1:07 remaining that gave the Warriors their biggest lead (122-118) of the game and seemingly put them in position to win.
But Durant committed a turnover with 34 seconds to play, giving Miami another possession, and then split two free-throw attempts with 13.9 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 125-123 lead.
He needed to make both.