MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Heat’s recent hot streak is about to be put to the ultimate test.
Fatigue may be the only thing that can stop the Golden State Warriors as they go after their eighth consecutive victory Monday against host Miami.
The Warriors will play their fifth game in eight days versus the rejuvenated Heat after putting up 42 points in the third quarter to pull away for a 118-98 victory at Orlando on Sunday afternoon.
Stephen Curry, who reached 20 points for the 10th consecutive game with 27, and Klay Thompson each drained seven shots from 3-point range Sunday as Golden State scored at least 117 for the ninth time in its last 10 contests – the only other being a 107-95 win over Miami.
The Heat have won three straight for the first time this season after Saturday’s 109-97 victory over Milwaukee despite losing another player to injury.
Third-leading scorer Tyler Johnson missed the contest with a shoulder ailment and is questionable for the matchup against Golden State, but Miami is playing better on both ends.
“Even with all the moving parts, for the last three weeks, guys are getting comfortable,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “It’s heading in the right direction defensively.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN Bay Area (Golden State), FSN Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (38-6): Leading scorer Kevin Durant was held under 20 points for the first time in 10 games Sunday with 15, but he contributed 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and a pair of blocks.
Center Zaza Pachulia has scored in double figures six times in 10 contests this month, including his 14 on 7-of-8 shooting Sunday, after recording at least 10 only twice in his first 30 games.
Guard Shaun Livingston (5.4 points) was rested Sunday as rookie Patrick McCaw scored 10 points in 20 minutes off the bench, and forward Andre Iguodala (5.9) reportedly could sit out against Miami.
ABOUT THE HEAT (14-30): With Johnson out – in addition to regulars Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Josh McRoberts and Chris Bosh, Miami needs guards Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic to step up, and they have been.
Waiters matched his career high with 33 points against Milwaukee and Dragic is averaging 26 over his last three contests while leading the team at 19.6 overall.
Spoelstra told the media Saturday’s effort was more like the Waiters he saw before his groin injury and that Dragic has “had a career-high year.
This is not something that’s just happening now.”
- Miami C Hassan Whiteside, who leads the NBA in rebounding (14.2), has recorded four double-doubles in six games since returning from an injury.
- Golden State C JaVale McGee came through with 13 points on Sunday – his first double-figure output since Dec. 23 against Detroit (15).
- The Warriors have won the last five meetings, including a 118-112 triumph in Miami last season.
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