MIAMI (AP) — Jordan Poole had 30 points and a career-best nine assists, and the undermanned Golden State Warriors scored the first 19 points of the second half en route to a 118-104 win over the frustrated Miami Heat on Wednesday night .
Damion Lee, Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins each scored 22 points for the Warriors, who grabbed 11 points from Gary Payton II and 16 rebounds from Kevon Looney.
Kyle Lowry had 26 points, Bam Adebayo had 25, Jimmy Butler finished with 20 and Duncan Robinson had 13 for the Heat. Miami shook off the huge Warriors run — and a huge dust on his bench during a timeout — to lead briefly in the fourth, then let the game slip and had its lead trimmed to 1-1/2 in the Eastern Conference race games over Milwaukee and Boston.
Miami played without Tyler Herro, who was released with a sprained left knee, and Gabe Vincent with a bruised toe.
The Warriors were already without Stephen Curry with a sprained left foot and Andre Iguodala with lower back strains, while Draymond Green, Otto Porter Jr. and Klay Thompson also had the night off to treat injuries.
Golden State made that decision based on medical reasons and a desire to minimize the risk of injury in the playoffs — not because of a frustrating loss in Orlando on Tuesday, coach Steve Kerr said.
“Just speaking to the coaching staff and continuing the process to ensure our players who have been injured or are recovering from injury are getting the care they need and the rest they need and not putting them at risk” said Kerr. “These decisions are based on process, not the results of last night’s games.”
Miami couldn’t hit anything to start the second half. Then the Heat considered hitting each other.
Golden State started the third quarter on a 19-0 run — topped by three 3-pointers by Poole from 31, 35 and 30 feet, two of them landing right in front of the heat-bank to make a disastrous start worse for Miami.
And during a break during a time-out during these Warriors’ excitement, tempers flared on the Miami bench. Butler and Udonis Haslem exchanged words, both of which had to be held back by teammates. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also appeared to have spoken to Butler.
Miami seemed to channel the anger.
The Heat went on a 19-6 run to reduce the lead to 75-69, held the lead to 81-80 going into the fourth and went up by three early in the final quarter.
Golden State wasn’t the least bit nervous. Back-to-back layups from Kuminga gave the Warriors the lead to stay, and a trio of 3-pointers – from Lee, Payton and then Poole – almost sealed things, putting Golden State in at 4:21 to 105-95 Guide.
Warriors: Golden State improved to just 7-12 in their last 19 games. … The Warriors have won for the first time in their last four trips to Miami. Golden State’s last win at the Heat home level was December 3, 2017.
Heat: Jamaican Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt was in the crowd. … It was the second loss in a row against an opponent outnumbered. Miami lost to Philadelphia on Monday when the 76ers played without James Harden and Joel Embiid.
Not only was it 50:50 at halftime, but there was also a draw in the first two quarters – 23:23 in the first, 27:27 in the second. It was only the second game in the NBA this season to be tied after a quarter and again at halftime; On November 26, the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings were 20:20 past one, 43:43 at halftime, and they were just getting started. They were tied after regulation and two overtimes before the Kings prevailed 141-137 in triple OT.
The Warriors have three more back-to-backs left — Sunday and Monday in Washington and Memphis to complete that five-game journey, April 2-3 against Utah and Sacramento, then April 9-10 for the regular-season finals in San Antonio and New Orleans. Thompson and Porter will almost certainly be kept out of a game in each of those sets, Kerr said.
Warrior: Visit Atlanta on Friday.
Heat: host New York on Friday.
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