Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage starts today at 3:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
The last time they saw the Miami Heat, the Warriors got quite the warning. They trailed by as much as 10 points before coming back for the victory in Oakland.
It was quite clear in the postgame comments from coach Steve Kerr and the players that the Heat, regardless of their lowly status this season, never stopped competing.
The Warriors (38-6) surely will recall that when they put their seven-game win streak on the line Monday in the rematch at American Airlines Arena.
The Heat (14-30) have won their last three games, including an impressive victory over the Rockets last Tuesday.
Warriors by 12
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Goran Dragic: Though the point guards won’t always defend each other, each serves as the igniter of his team’s offense. Both have been playing well, as Curry is coming off a 27-point effort (with seven 3-pointers) at Orlando and Dragic has scored 57 points (on 67.9 percent shooting) over his last two games.
Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (rest) and C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.
Heat: G Tyler Johnson (L shoulder sprain) is listed as questionable. F Josh McRoberts (L foot stress fracture), G Josh Richardson (L foot sprain) and F Justise Winslow (R shoulder surgery) are listed as out.
The Warriors won the first meeting this season, 107-95, on Jan. 10 at Oracle Arena and have won five in a row and eight of the last 10.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE BIG MEN: Heat center Hassan Whiteside torched the Warriors for 28 points and 20 rebounds two weeks ago. He was Miami’s most effective offensive player, even as the Warriors rotated five defenders on him. Though Zaza Pachulia will again get the primary assignment, expect Whiteside to again see different looks.
KLAY’S BACK: The Warriors opted to rest Klay Thompson in the last meeting, starting rookie Pat McCaw. Well, Thompson will play tonight, and he is one day removed from drilling 7-of-9 3-pointers in the win at Orlando. Though Dion Waiters will try to match Thompson’s scoring, Miami has nobody suited to contain Klay.
BRING IT EARLY: Expecting constant defensive pressure from the Heat, the Warriors will need to summon intensity from the start or risk, yet again, having to generate a second-half comeback. It worked well on Sunday, but it’s a dangerous game to play, particularly on the road.