Warriors singed by Heat at the death

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (No. 11) celebrating hitting the game-winning basket against the Golden State Warriors. The Heat upset the league-leading Warriors 105-102.
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (No. 11) celebrating hitting the game-winning basket against the Golden State Warriors. The Heat upset the league-leading Warriors 105-102.PHOTO: REUTERS

Golden State's seven-game winning run halted by Waiters' game-clinching shot

MIAMI • Klay Thompson, with long arms on his 2m frame, lunged at Dion Waiters, trying to close out the Miami Heat shooter.

But the suddenly hot Heat cannot be stopped right now.

That, as much as anything, explains why Waiters' shot from the top of the key was a clean swish with six-tenths of a second left in the National Basketball Association (NBA) game, helping to sink the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors had one more chance, but Stephen Curry's desperate three-point try was an air ball as Miami defeated Golden State 105-102 on Monday .

The Heat (15-30) have a season-best four-game winning streak to complete a 4-0 run at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

"These are the moments you want to live for, especially against a great team like that," Waiters said. "I'm in a zone right now."

The Heat guard matched his career high with 33 points for the second straight game. It is the first time he has had consecutive 30-point games in his five-year NBA career.

He tormented the Warriors, shooting 13 of 20, including 6 of 8 on three-pointers. He also added five rebounds, four assists and one free throw on his only attempt.

On the game-winner, Waiters said he knew it was good as soon as he released.

"Thompson let me get to my left hand," Waiters said. "I thought he was going to force me right, but he let me get back.

"I'm not afraid of those types of moments. This feels good."

After the shot went in, Waiters did not even smile. He did strike a pose, however, crossing his arms as the crowd - and his team-mates - went nuts.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he was glad the ever-dangerous Warriors - who have the best record in the NBA at 38-7 - had less than one second left after Waiters' shot.

The coach was proud of Waiters.

"He's not scared," Spoelstra said. "He wants those moments as much as anybody. He's been pestering me on those kinds of deals, wanting those opportunities in the fourth quarter. He and I go at it all the time."

Before Waiters' heroics, Golden State's Kevin Durant tied the score with 11.7 seconds left on a baseline dunk. But it was not enough as Golden State had their seven-game win streak snapped.

Durant had 27 points, Thompson had 22 points and Stephen Curry added 21 points.

It was Golden State's fifth regular season loss this season. The Warriors shot just 46.6 per cent from the floor, including 26.7 per cent on three-pointers.

The highest-scoring team in the league with a 118-point average, Golden State were held to their lowest total since Dec 10.

The Warriors had just 16 fast-break points - seven below their average.

"We did not lose this game in the last three or four minutes - we were soft tonight," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We did not execute defensively."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Warriors singed by Heat at the death'. Print Edition | Subscribe