MIAMI — So much for Stephen Curry’s mini-shooting slump.
Curry scored 40 points on 11-of-18 shooting and the Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 114-97 on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
“You just feel a rhythm,” said Curry, who was 8-for-24 in his previous two games. “I had guys set some great screens early to kind of get me going. You start finding shots and it feels good. Even the ones I missed terribly felt good, which is pretty funny.”
After watching Curry put up 40 points and continue to take care of the ball, Steve Kerr says his star played “the perfect game”.
On Tuesday night, Curry had one of those games that was pretty amazing, even for him.
Klay Thompson had 24 points for the Warriors, who shot 57%. Curry finished 8-of-11 from 3-point range.
“You always stay confident, stay ready,” Curry said. “You win games all sorts of ways with different individual performances. How we shot last game had nothing to do with this game. If we execute our offense well, you’re going to get good shots.”
Golden State scored 14 straight points to open a 107-95 lead with 2:50 to go.
Curry and Thompson capped the run with consecutive 3-pointers.
“The beauty of this team is we can play both ends,” Warriors coach Kerr said.
“We have the personnel to score. We have the personnel to guard.”
Chris Bosh scored 26 points for Miami and Luol Deng had 16. James Ennis’ dunk with 9:11 left was the Heat’s last field goal.
“They played their best basketball in the fourth quarter,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“We got caught up in some tough possessions. Their defence really stepped up and then they started to score and we just weren’t able to sustain from there.”
Miami led by 16 in the first half, but Golden State closed the second quarter with a 23-8 surge. Draymond Green made two free throws with 9,8 seconds left to cut the Heat’s lead to 62-61 at the break.
Golden state carried the momentum over to the second half. Curry hit three 3-pointers in the third period and his two free throws with 58,2 seconds remaining put Golden State head, 89-82.
“Second half — everybody was more in tune,” Kerr said. “We got to their 3-point shooters. We ran them off the line. In the end, we got it rolling.”
Curry now has 51 career games (including Tuesday) with at least five assists and five 3-pointers in the same game, passing Ray Allen for the most such games in NBA history.
Harrison Barnes finished with 12 points and Andrew Bogut had 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Bogut started after sustaining a right orbital bone contusion on Sunday.
The Heat got off to a nice start, opening a 31-22 lead on Mario Chalmers’ corner 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
“I don’t really get what we think or what we do down the stretch against good teams, the elite teams,” Bosh said. “For some reason we just forget everything — offense and defence execution.”
The Warriors improved to 8-0 when limiting opponents to less than 100 points.
“This game was a huge challenge for us, probably our biggest challenge defensively we’ve faced all year because they present a lot of problems,” Kerr said.
After a 7-of-10 pace from 3-point range in the first half, Miami shot 3-of-13 in the second half. The Heat made 11 of 40 shots in the second half.
Warriors: G Leandro Barbosa played four minutes and scored two points after spraining his right knee in the Warriors’ win over Orlando on Sunday.
Early in the first period, Bogut grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court and made a behind-the-back pass from the baseline to Green, who scored on a layup.
F David Lee (strained left hamstring) missed his 12th straight game.
Heat: F-C Chris Andersen’s injury woes continue. Andersen sat out Tuesday’s game after injuring his left ankle early in Miami’s win over Charlotte on Sunday. Earlier in the season, Andersen missed four games because of bruised ribs.
G Dwyane Wade (left hamstring) missed his seventh straight game. Norris Cole returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games because of a dislocated left middle finger.