To think that a few years ago, no team really considered LeBron James a threat from the perimeter is a funny joke now. The Golden State Warriors, from personal experience, can say that James has drilled two game-winning shots from the outside in Oracle, making for a classic ending. Wednesday night, he broke the Warriors’ hearts with a deep step-back 3-pointer to give the Heat the win 111-110.
The Warriors were, quite frankly, a mess the entire game. From terrible defense, to poor offense, they were getting pushed around and everything seemed to be bouncing in the Heat’s direction. Just when they would make a run, the Heat would attack back and build a double-digit lead. At the half, the Dubs trailed by 11 at 57-46.
The defending champs were too good a team to blow a huge lead, right? Well, after all the Warriors struggles culminated in a 21-point third-quarter deficit, the Heat seemed like they had locked everything up and were heading for the smooth victory. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee, however, had something to say about that. Leading the Warriors to a 16-2 run and an eventual 87-84 lead, the Warriors really battled hard.
From the beginning of the fourth quarter on, the game was back-and-forth; then, there was the final minutes of the wild contest. Up 101-100, Mario Chalmers calmly drilled a 3-pointer right in front of the Warriors bench. Lee was then fouled on consecutive plays, making 3-of-4 free throws to close the gap to 104-103. To take the lead, Andre Iguodala drilled an incredible fadeaway jumper in the face of Shane Battier.
Then it was LeBron’s turn. He hit a deep 25-foot 3-pointer to give the Heat a two-point lead once again. To knot things up, Curry scored a leaning jump shot. As you can see, this game had a back-and-forth pace to it. LeBron James was fouled on the other end, split the free throws, and the Warriors called for time.
Curry was able to shake his defender, get to the rim, and get the and-1 basket, hitting the free throw. The Warriors now had a two-point lead with 14.6 seconds left, and for some reason, I had a gut feeling that the Heat were going to go for the 3-pointer: 14.5 seconds later, James drilled a step-back 3 in the face of Andre Iguodala with .1 second left. Ouch. Are the Warriors clutch?
It was the Warriors 19th game decided by four points-or-fewer this season and are now 8-11 in those games
— GSWStats (@gswstats) February 13, 2014
After a discouraging loss, the Warriors are going to go into the All-Star break at 31-22, a little better then they had been last year. Fortunately for them, they closed out the 2012-13 season hot, but this time, they may not have as much luck. They currently sit at eighth place in the Western Conference. I’m sure they would love to have some breathing room.