OAKLAND – This is why NBA is falling in love with the Warriors, and why their global popularity outpaces their accomplishments.
They can entertain like few other teams. The Warriors did it again Wednesday night, and all they got in return was pure heartbreak delivered by Heat superstar LeBron James.
James was defended; it didn't matter. Andre Iguodala shadowed James out beyond the arc. So what. With the Warriors up one and seconds ticking off, the four-time MVP gathered and fired a 27-footer that dropped through the net like a bomb, suddenly silencing the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena and sending the Warriors to a 111-110 loss.
James' last-second heroics punctuated a terrific game during which the teams took turns proving how good, or bad, they can be. Mere seconds earlier, Stephen Curry's 3-point play had given the Warriors (31-22) a 110-108 lead with 14.6 seconds to play.
Curry finished with a game-high 29 points, while David Lee added 21 points and 11 rebounds. Klay Thompson put in 17 and Harrison Barnes 14.
James walked off a game-high 36 points and the victory. He added game highs in rebounds (13) and assists (nine).
The Heat (37-14) outshot the Warriors 53.8 percent to 48.2 percent, while the Warriors won the battle of the boards 43-35.
STANDOUT PEFORMER: Curry rebounded from a first half of being trapped and doubled at every opportunity to create enough space and bury enough shots to carry the Warriors back into the game.
TURNING POINT: Down 101-92 with 6:13 to play, the Warriors went on a 13-3 run, taking a 105-104 lead on an Iguodala jumper with 1:22 to play. James responded with a 3-pointer, which was countered by a Curry jumper for a 107-107 tie that set the stage for James' finale.
All this after the Warriors waged a tremendous rally – a 33-9 run – to move into an 87-84 lead with 11:03 left, the Heat called timeout and fired back with a 15-3 run to go up 99-90 on a Chris Bosh dunk with 6:43 to go.
INJURY UPDATE: C Andrew Bogut (left shoulder inflammation), C Jermaine O'Neal (sore right wrist), C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) and G Nemanja Nedovic (strained left hamstring, right foot inflammation) are out. It is anticipated that Bogut and O'Neal will return next week.
WHAT'S NEXT: With the All-Star break coming up this weekend, the Warriors won't return to action until next Wednesday at Sacramento for the third of four meetings this season. The Warriors won both earlier games, one on each court.