Shane Battier is normally one of the Heat’s best defensive players, a veteran to be counted on in the clutch. Not on Wednesday against Golden State. On this night, Battier blew it.
With the score tied on the Warriors’ final possession, Battier left Golden State rookie Draymond Green unmanned underneath the basket, and Green won the game with the simplest of shots, a wide-open layup with 0.9 seconds remaining.
The Warriors defeated the Heat 97-95 to win their fifth consecutive game on the road.
Red-hot Golden State (15-7) has the second-most road wins (nine) in the NBA this season and is 10-2 over its past 12 games. Meanwhile, the Heat continues to push through the month of December with fits and starts. Miami (14-6) has lost three of its past five games.
The Heat led 95-91 but failed to score during the final 3:18.
The Warriors outscored the Heat 6-0 to finish the game.
The score was tied 95-95 with 11.4 seconds left after Battier missed a wide-open three-pointer from the corner.
The Heat defended well during the beginning of the Warriors’ final possession but Battier and Ray Allen had a miscommunication with time winding down and the Warriors exploited the mistake.
Wide open shot
Warriors guard Jarrett Jack, who scored 20 points, found Green in the paint after Battier peeled off a screen and covered the wrong player.
“We have to learn from the mistakes,” Dwyane Wade said. “It’s not good that we lost but it’s good that those breakdowns happen early in the season.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called the play “clever.” The Heat denied the Warriors their first two or three options but Green found some room in the defense and Jack whipped a two-handed pass over LeBron James in traffic.
“They’re a good helping team and they over-pursued,” said Warriors forward David Lee.
James led the Heat with 31 points on 12 of 23 shooting. He had five assists and three rebounds. James has scored at least 30 points in five games this season.
“It just so happened they made one more play than us,” James said. “It wasn’t a step back. We played well.”
Miami was 7 of 22 from three-point range for the game but shot 47.5 percent (38 of 80) overall. The Heat attempted three three-pointers on consecutive possession in the final two minutes and came up empty each time.
Too many mistakes
On the first possession, the Warriors’ defense forced James to attempt a 24-foot turnaround three-pointer with the shot clock winding down.
A bad miss by Ray Allen from the wing followed up James’ air ball. Battier then missed from the corner with 11.4 seconds left.
Wade left the game in the second period after a collision with teammate Mario Chalmers but returned in the second half and finished with 14 points. Afterwards, he said he was fine. Chris Bosh had 21 points and 13 rebounds.
The Warriors scored 19 points off of 18 turnovers by the Heat. Wade had five turnovers; James had four; Chalmers had three.
“Our fundamentals of jumping in the air,” Spoelstra said of the giveaways. “We had too much of that.”
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points. He was 11 of 21 from the field and 5 of 13 from three-point range. He also had seven rebounds. Stephen Curry had nine points and seven assists. Lee, the former Florida Gator, had 22 points and 13 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds. Lee has 14 double-doubles this season.
Allen had 14 points off the bench. Chalmers had eight points and once again was held out of the game in the fourth quarter. Norris Cole had three points.
The Warriors led by seven points with 11 minutes to play but the Heat steadily chipped away. A wide-open three-pointer by Allen cut Golden State’s lead to a point and James tied the game with a three-pointer. James put the Heat ahead 89-87 on Miami’s next possession.
But the Heat couldn’t cool off Jack. His turnaround jumper in the lane tied the game at 91-91. The basket gave Jack a season high in points on 9-of-13 shooting.
In the first half, it was Thompson who had the hot hand. He was 8 of 15 from the field and 5 of 10 from three-point range to begin the game.
The Heat trailed 53-52 at the half. The Warriors were 7 of 15 from three-point range in the first half.