NBA Teams
Chris Haynes, ESPN Staff Writer 345d

Warriors put together best defensive performance of the season against Heat

NBA, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors held the Miami Heat to 80 points -- 12 points fewer than the previous lowest total they had allowed this season.

Defense won the game for the defending champs on Monday, as they captured their fourth consecutive win with a 97-80 outcome at Oracle Arena.

Both teams shot poorly.

The Warriors shot at a 37 percent clip, and the Heat at 36 percent. Miami could muster only 57 points going into the final quarter, and Golden State forced 23 turnovers, converting them into 28 points.

"I thought it was our best defensive effort of the year," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It was tremendous. We forced 23 turnovers, we were attentive on our switching. ... I thought we made really good decisions out there."

It was the first game of the season in which the Warriors scored fewer than 100 points, but the Warriors outscored the Heat 26-4 on fast-break points.

"Those are backbreaking plays to give up almost 30 fast-break points, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That would be a number for three games for us."

The Heat's best player, Hassan Whiteside, was limited to a season-low three points on 1-of-9 shooting. Whiteside lasted until the first 73 seconds of the third quarter before his night was over for good.

"Our bigs stayed attached, and we were able to keep him from getting anything easy," Kerr said.

Kevin Durant provided 21 points, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal and three blocks. It was his fifth game with three or more blocks this season. Through the first three quarters, Durant, 10-of-10 at the line, made more free throws than the entire Heat roster (7-of-11).

Draymond Green produced season highs in points (18) and 3-pointers (4-of-6). He also pulled down nine boards and blocked a shot. In his last four games, Green is 9-of-14 from beyond the arc.

"A lot of times, early on, I found myself not being aggressive, and lately I've been very aggressive on the offensive end," he said. "[I'm] taking the shot when it's there, and it's been going for me. So, I just got to continue to stay in the gym and keep working."

Thanks to a strong, collective defensive effort, Stephen Curry could afford to have his worst performance of the young season on this night. He went 5-of-19 from the field and 2-of-9 from long distance, finishing with 16 points, four assists and five rebounds.

"It's obviously not a great shooting night by any stretch of the imagination," Curry said. "But the rest of it was a solid, solid performance."

James Johnson led Miami with 21 points off the bench. Durant and Green combined to hold the Heat to 7-of-23 shooting for 21 points, contesting 17 of those shots.

The revamped Minnesota Timberwolves, winners of five straight, visit Golden State on Wednesday.

"They're a very good team, talented team," Green said of the Timberwolves. "They're starting to put it together. So, I still think when we play our brand of basketball, when we play our best ball, we win."

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