Warriors freeze Miami Heat

MIAMI - The reigning NBA champions Miami Heat were unable to stop a speedy and efficient Golden State Warriors team on Thursday night.
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (C) is fouled by Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (R) as small forward Shane Battier (L) defends the play during the second hal....
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (C) is fouled by Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (R) as small forward Shane Battier (L) defends the play during the second hal....

MIAMI - The reigning NBA champions Miami Heat were unable to stop a speedy and efficient Golden State Warriors team on Thursday night.

The “Splash Brothers”, as both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are known in NBA circles, along with David Lee led the Warriors to a 123-114 victory against a sloppy Miami team.

The Warriors’ win was their seventh straight victory and their longest winning streak since an eight-game run in April 2005.

Although Miami (24-8) used an aggressive defense, the Warriors were simply too efficient offensively, especially after scoring 15 of their 29 three-point attempts.

Curry led all the scorers with 36 points, including 24 coming from behind the arc, and dished out 12 assists. Lee dominated the paint by finishing with 32 points and 14 rebounds and Thompson scored 12 of his 16 points from the three-point line.

 After the game, Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson could not hide his pleasure for Curry’s performance:

“He’s been spectacular all year long and this is the level he has played at. It is great to see him get the recognition he deserves. I am so blessed to coach this guy because he is a better person than he is a basketball player,” said Jackson.

The Warriors (21-13) dominated most of the game, leading by as many as 14 points in the third quarter. They out-rebounded the defending champions 40-31, while Miami leading scorer LeBron James struggled in the offense end after causing eight of Miami’s 15 turn-overs.

“I looked at the stat sheet at one point and he was seven of 13 from the 3-point line and I was seven of 12 from the field. I was like, `He’s got more 3-point attempts than I got field goal attempts,” James said of Curry.

Despite a sloppy showing, James led the Heat with 26 points as the Warriors became the first Western Conference team this season to win at American Airlines Arena.

The 123 points were the most allowed by the Heat at home in a non-overtime game since the inception of Heat’ Big-3 James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2010-2011 season.

New York teams stun west

The Brooklyn Nets traveled to the Oklahoma City to cause one of the biggest surprises of Thursday NBA action by beating the Thunder 95-93.

Sharpshooter Joe Johnson hit a jump shot over Congolese Serge Ibaka with less than a second remaining on the shot clock to give Brooklyn a much-needed win and improve their record to 11-21.

Deron Williams paced the Nets, who bounced back from a 16-point deficit, with a season-high 29 points, while Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 24 points, but the Thunder could not avoid their second straight loss.

Nets’ city rivals, the New York Knicks, followed suit by shocking the San Antonio Spurs away from home with a 105-101 win.

Although Marco Belinelli had a game-high 32 points for San Antonio (25-8), the game belonged to Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert who scored 27 points apiece for the Knicks (10-21).

 In Cleveland, Brazilian Anderson Varejao dominated the paint area with a career-high 25 rebounds to help the Cavaliers past the Orlando Magic 87-81 in overtime.  The loss was Magic’s sixth straight defeat.

In Chicago, Joakim Noah fell shy of a triple-double, although the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 94-82.

Noah finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and Chicago ended a two-game skid at home, while Jordan Crawford led the Celtics with 22 points.

The Memphis Grizzlies ended the Phoenix Suns’ excellent run following a 99-91 win away from home, the Utah Jazz held off the Milwaukee Bucks 96-87, the Portland Trail Blazers trounced the Charlotte Bobcats 134-104 and the Philadelphia 76ers won their third straight game after beating the Sacramento Kings 113-104.

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