Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 120-118 comeback win over Heat

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 120-118 comeback win over Heat


OAKLAND -- In their last stop on the road to their 40th win of the season, the Warriors proved yet again that they are talented enough to overcome themselves.

It also helps when the opponent is mediocre, as was the case Sunday in a 120-118 thriller over the Heat before a sellout crowd (19,596) at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors prevailed despite being profoundly outrebounded (49-36), soundly outshot from 3-point range (41.9 percent to 36.1) and, of course, outmuscled because that’s the one thing Miami does as well as any team in the NBA.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ 15th win in 16 games:

Shooters had to bring it, and they did

Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 93 points on 36-of-63 shooting from the field, including 12-of-30 from beyond the arc.

Durant poured in 39 points despite draining only one 3-pointer -- a very important one with 44 seconds remaining. He was 16-of-24 from the field and 6-of-10 from the line.

Thompson scored 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including 6-of-13 from deep.

Curry totaled 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-10 from deep.

Without the scoring of these three, this would not have been much of a game. The seven other Warriors that played -- Andre Iguodala was out with a tight hamstring -- combined for 25 points.

How nice it is to have stars that can make big shots late in the game.

Trouble on the glass

Two days after allowing the Suns to grab 19 offensive rebounds and put up 20 second-chance shots, the Warriors were no better at keeping their opponent off the offensive glass.

The Heat, appreciably better than Phoenix on the offensive glass, grabbed nine in the first quarter and 19 for the game.

This continues to be a problem indicative of poor focus and fundamentals. Or maybe the Warriors don’t believe full dedication is needed to prevail against inferior teams.

Though the Warriors often talk of the need to “build good habits” over the course of the regular season, they are failing in this area.

Boogie’s Night, Pt. X

DeMarcus Cousins made a pair of clutch free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining to put away the game, so all’s well that ends well.

Cousins totaled seven points on 2-of-6 shooting, adding three rebounds, three blocks, two steals and one assist. He was minus-12 over 27 minutes.

Though Cousins continues to come along, his conditioning remains an issue that is revealed against young, aggressive centers of size. It was Deandre Ayton on Friday in Phoenix, and on Sunday it was Hassan Whiteside, particularly in the first half.

Whiteside grabbed 12 rebounds through three quarters, but was not a factor down the stretch because he’s not a part of Miami’s closing lineup.

This wraps up the game-by-game "Boogie’s Night" series, which was designed for the duration of his first 10 games.

Steve Kerr believes Warriors' 73-win NBA record never will be broken

Steve Kerr believes Warriors' 73-win NBA record never will be broken

Steve Kerr knows winning. Not only has he won eight NBA titles -- five as a player and three as a coach -- he also had his hand in the two winningest regular seasons of all time. 

Kerr averaged 8.4 points off the bench and played in all 82 regular season games in the 1995-96 season when the Chicago Bulls set a new record by winning 72 regular-season games. Fast forward 20 years and Kerr coached the Warriors to a 73-win regular season, to break his and the Bulls' record. 

So, does Kerr believe any team can top 73 wins?

"It was just a stunning season, and it's such an amazing accomplishment," Kerr said Friday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" show. "I just don't think it's possible to break that record. Of course, I didn't think 72 would be broken."

There of course is one big difference, though.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Bulls went on to beat the Seattle Supersonics in six games to be crowned champs. And the Warriors blew a three-games-to-one lead in the Finals, losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5.

"I know are guys were proud of it, but we didn't validate it with a title," Kerr said. "As a result, we just have a small banner in our practice facility commemorating it. That's kind of how it should be I think. We can look back at it and remember a great season, but we didn't quite get it done.

"So it definitely loses a bit of its luster."

[RELATED: Kerr details impact of 'Last Dance' behind-the-scenes access]

Bulls players wore shirts that read "Don't mean a thing without the ring" in the '96 playoffs, and then went out and got it done. Golden State overcame its own 3-1 deficit to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals before being on the wrong side of history the next series.

The banner will remain hanging just as 3-1 jokes and memes are here to stay. Both seasons were historic, but only one completed the job.

Steve Kerr discusses 'Last Dance' crew's impact on Michael Jordan, Bulls

Steve Kerr discusses 'Last Dance' crew's impact on Michael Jordan, Bulls

ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary gave basketball fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Chicago Bulls’ dynastic run through the 1990s. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was an integral part of those Bulls teams as a player, has said he didn’t want the same type of access to his Golden State team during the recent five-year run of consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

Kerr joined former two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long on his podcast this week, and talked about how he and his teammates in Chicago handled the constant presence of cameras chronicling Michael Jordan’s final season with the Bulls.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

“The first couple months, it was really weird,” Kerr explained. “Especially because Phil Jackson had always been a coach who felt like the locker room was sacred, that you couldn’t just have anybody walk in.

"So our locker room was really private, and then all of a sudden we go into that season in ‘98 and Phil says ‘there’s gonna be a camera crew following us around’ we’re all like ‘what? What the hell?’ ”

He did emphasize that players eventually got used to the attention.

[RELATED: Where Warriors' Steph Curry ranks among top NBA MVPs of 2010s]

“After a while, they just kind of blended in so it wasn’t too intrusive,” Kerr said.

The distraction didn’t seem to faze those Bulls, as they completed MJ’s second three-peat and won the 1998 NBA Finals.

The 2018-19 Warriors dealt with similar media scrutiny as the world wondered whether the organization could complete a three-peat of its own, and whether two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant would remain in the Bay Area long-term.

Unfortunately for Golden State, the ending of that 2019 NBA Finals didn’t mirror the Bulls’ victory, as injuries took the Larry O’Brien trophy out of the hands of the Warriors.