The Golden State Warriors occasionally show off just how well their offense is capable of performing, like they did on Friday at Orlando. The Warriors will try to replicate that performance and keep their stars healthy when they continue a six-game road trip with a visit to the Miami Heat on Sunday.
Golden State recorded an NBA season-high 46 assists and shot 62.5 percent from the floor despite stars Stephen Curry (finger), Kevin Durant (ankle) and Klay Thompson (ankle) nursing injuries that had them considered day-to-day prior to the contest. “Forty-six assists is insane,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “If we can just play with that kind of energy, with a little better judgment, and a little better defense, then we’re on to something. But this is a good step in the right direction.” While the Warriors lead the NBA in assists (30.8), the Heat rank 24th (21). Miami did a better job of sharing the ball with 25 assists on Friday as it opened a two-game homestand with a 105-100 win over the Charlotte Hornets, led by six assists in 30 minutes off the bench from center Kelly Olynyk.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (17-6): Durant went 10-of-14 from the floor in 30 minutes on Friday before getting ejected for arguing a non-foul call. “Oh yeah, it should have been two shots, but he didn’t give me an explanation on that,” Durant told reporters of official Eric Lewis. “I guess because I kept asking him about it, he tossed me.” Curry is learning to play with a painful finger on his shooting hand and was the only starter to shoot under 50 percent from the floor on Friday, going 9-of-20 en route to 23 points while adding 10 assists.
ABOUT THE HEAT (11-11): Only one of Miami’s 25 assists on Friday came from small forward Josh Richardson, but he was busy making sure everyone else’s passes ended in a bucket. The 24-year-old, who averages 9.6 points and is shooting 39.7 percent on the season, scored a career-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting. “This was the player who looked like this coming out of training camp, but you do have to credit J-Rich for his character and competitiveness,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters of Richardson. “Even while he’s been struggling from the field, he’s been an all-NBA defender. He hasn’t let that affect the effort he brings to each game. It was great to see him play with that kind of passion. His enthusiasm was infectious to the rest of the guys.”
1. Warriors SF Andre Iguodala (knee) sat out Friday and is day-to-day.
2. Heat PG Goran Dragic is 7-of-29 from the floor over the last three games.
3. Golden State took six of the last seven meetings but fell at Miami 105-102 last season.
PREDICTION: Warriors 116, Heat 106