Warriors look to sweep season series with Heat
Stephen Curry scored just nine points and committed six turnovers in the Warriors' 97-95 win over Miami back on Dec. 12. (AP)
It is the same ankle he had surgically repaired in May, 2011 and April, 2012.
Additionally, Curry was held out of practice on Tuesday after hyperextending his right knee during Sunday's 116-105 loss in Denver.
“Just banged knees, took a tough cut, he says he is going to be fine,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We’re being smart with and we’ll make sure he is right before he steps on the floor.”
The play happened in the offensive lane when Curry cut on a spin before falling to the ground and grabbing at the right knee.This hasn’t been the Miami Heat that won a title last season.
Both teams struggling
Miami hasn’t played well away from home with a road record of 8-9 and have lost three of its last four games.
The problem for the Golden State Warriors, however, is that recently they have been playing like it’s last season.
The Warriors have also lost three of four games, including a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and a fourth-quarter collapse to the Denver Nuggets.
“We’re not going to panic,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said at practice on Tuesday. “The truth is we lost three out of four but we lost to some good teams that played well. We are not going to panic, we are not going to let go of the rope.”
Golden State is 12-5 at home and 13-2 against the Eastern Conference this season. Despite the recent stretch of losses to a few of the West’s best team’s, the Warriors are still off to their best start in decades.
The Heat (24-12) enter just a game better than the Warriors (23-12) as the season nears its midway point.
On Dec. 12, in the first of two games against the Heat, Draymond Green’s last-second layup gave the Warriors the victory. Golden State has never swept a defending champion in a season series.
The Warriors also beat the Heat at Oracle last season in the lone matchup between the two teams.
A win tonight against the Heat would be more than symbolic; a victory would be much needed in a growingly competitive Western Conference.
The Warriors currently stand second in the Pacific Division, trailing the Clippers by 5.5 games. Golden State is currently fifth in the Western Conference standings, one game behind the Memphis Grizzlies and one game ahead of the surging Nuggets.
On this six-game road trip, Miami has lost to the Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers and fell to the Utah Jazz on Monday. The Heat plays at the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Warriors need to clean it up
Golden State cannot afford to turn the ball over against a Heat team talented in the fast break. The Heat can pester passing lanes and score easy points in transition.
Miami scored 34 points off turnovers and 26 fast-break points at the Sacramento Kings on Saturday as part of its current road trip.
The Warriors are the fourth-worst team in turnovers at 15.44 per game.
Part of Denver’s ability to jump on Golden State in Sunday night's fourth quarter was due to the Warriors' inability to hang on to the ball. During Denver's 19-2 run to begin the final frame, the Warriors committed four of their 18 total turnovers.
Clean up on the glass too
When the Warriors win the battle on the boards, they are a perfect 11-0 at home and 20-2 overall.
Miami is the worst rebounding team in the league at 38.6 rebounds per game. In the meeting in Miami, David Lee scored 22 points and added 13 rebounds.
James looks to history
LeBron James could reach a worthy-of-note milestone tonight if he scores 18 points or more against the Warriors. At 28 years and 17 days, that point total would make him the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points. Kobe Bryant currently holds the mark, scoring point No. 20,000 at 29 years, 122 days.
To add to that list, Wilt Chamberlain was the third-youngest player to do it at 29 years, 134 days when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers, following his days with both the Philadelphia and then San Francisco Warriors. Michael Jordan, another of the 37 players to ever reach the milestone, reached 20,000 points at 29 years, 326 days.
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