Warriors vs. Heat: What to watch for

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Warriors vs. Heat: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 4 p.m. Stick around after the final horn for Warriors Postgame Live.

The Warriors roll into Miami on Wednesday as the proud owners of a four-game road winning streak and a chance to really turn some heads around the NBA.

The Warriors are 14-7, a terrific start, no doubt. But if they can knock off the defending champion Heat on its home floor … that would be an eyebrow-raiser, to say the least.

The Heat (14-5) has won two straight and eight of its past 10 games. Miami is 10-1 at home this season.

Here are some things to watch for during Wednesday’s game between the Warriors and Heat:

Play at the right tempo: As a rule, the Warriors would like to play uptempo, and this game is no different. At the same time, Golden State needs to make sure it values possessions and gets back in defensive transition.

A track meet alone isn’t going to get it done.

As a team Miami is shooting over 50 percent from the floor and averaging 108 points per game at home. If this game goes too fast for the Warriors, they risk the possibility of getting overwhelmed by the Heat’s athleticism.

If they play too slow a pace, they risk getting swallowed up by Miami’s halfcourt defense. Golden State should want to play somewhere in the middle.

No LeBron domination: You can’t discuss the Miami Heat without discussing LeBron James, who is having an incredible season. He is averaging 25.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. Most impressive is James is shooting 54 percent from the floor, including 44 percent from 3-point range.

Rookies Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green will likely get their chances to check James -- which is a terrific challenge for a first-year player.

Lee vs. Bosh: David Lee is playing terrific basketball right now, and he’ll need to continue that against the Heat. Chris Bosh has been playing plenty of center for Miami, but that doesn’t mean the two won’t be matched up against each other at times.

You could make a case that Lee and Bosh are similar type players – both with a little bit of an inside-out/outside-in game.

If Lee can win this matchup, it gives the Warriors a better chance to beat Miami.

 

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY — Stephen Curry scored 26 and the Golden State Warriors controlled the Utah Jazz from start to finish in a 106-99 victory Thursday night.

Curry scored 14 points during a 29-1 run that made it 29-5. The Jazz's only lead of the game was 4-2.

Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored a career-high 21 points, and Shelvin Mack added a season-high 19.

The Jazz have four starters sidelined by injuries, including their top three scorers.

Golden State led 65-46 at halftime as the second unit allowed the Jazz to hang around and, technically, remain within striking distance. The urgency from the first quarter disappeared in the second half and the Jazz crept within five in the fourth quarter thanks to buckets from Mack and Ingles, but Durant closed the game with 11 in the final period.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Rookie Patrick McCaw scored a career-high 10 points, all in the first half. ... Shaun Livingston took the night off to rest. ... Draymond Green was two assists shy of his 15th career triple-double.

Jazz: Utah started the combination of Joe Johnson, Mack, Dante Exum, Gobert and Boris Diaw for the first time this season. ... Ingles hit a career-high five 3-pointers.

INJURED JAZZ

The Jazz were without four starters — Gordon Hayward (finger), Rodney Hood (hamstring), George Hill (toe) and Derrick Favors (knee). Utah has been dealing with injuries all season, but Thursday was their most depleted lineup to date.

"It's easy to be frustrated," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "That's something you have to just fight against and make a decision to do the best with where we are.

"It's a credit to our guys really. We've got a group that has character. Over a longer period of time it becomes more challenging. ... Hopefully there's a silver lining. We've got some guys that are getting minutes that may not be getting otherwise."

QUOTABLE

"This team, my first year was kind of a surprise and everybody seemed to love us," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "Now maybe it's changed a little bit. It honestly makes no difference to us.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Golden State travels to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the third game of a five-game trip.

Jazz: Utah hosts a Sacramento Kings team that has lost eight of 12 on the road.

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled center Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Thursday.                             

During his most recent assignment, which began Nov. 30, Jones averaged 2.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 19.3 minutes over three games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

The Vanderbilt product, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2016 NBA Draft, grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds in 17 minutes on Dec. 3 at Maine.

The 7’0”, 245-pound center has appeared in five games (two starts) with Santa Cruz this season, holding averages of 2.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 19.0 minutes.

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