Steve Kerr's lineup decision vindicated as Warriors bounceback with comfortable win in Miami - Sport News

Steve Kerr’s lineup decision vindicated as Warriors bounceback with comfortable win in Miami

Steve Kerr’s decision to re-insert Klay Thompson into the starting lineup has paid immediate dividends, with the veteran sharpshooter playing a key role in the Golden State Warriors’ 113-92 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

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Having lost six of their last nine games, the visiting Warriors benefited from the absence of a number of key Heat players. Yet Golden State still found themselves in a traditional Miami scrap in the first-half, with the home team’s defensive intensity lifting them to a 55-53 advantage as Stephen Curry was left rather subdued.

Klay Thompson enjoyed his return to the starting lineup with a game-high 28 points lifting the Golden State Warriors to a 21-point victory

With Curry limited to just 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting, the Warriors needed another avenue of scoring. That’s exactly why Thompson was brought back into the starting five, and the 34-year-old duly delivered with a game-high 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the floor and 6-of-14 from three-point range.

But for all of Thompson’s scoring, and positive outputs from Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga, it was the Warriors’ defense that turned the screws in the second-half. They limited Miami to 37 points in the final 24 minutes, preventing any thought of a Heat comeback effort after the Warriors had built a 10-point lead by the end of the third.

Playing without key offensive duo Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, the Heat simply didn’t have enough beyond the burdened Bam Adebayo. The hosts finished the game shooting just 40.2% from the floor and 24.2% from beyond the arc.

Wiggins proved important in Golden State’s march early in the third-quarter, lifting his team to a reasonable lead with a series of baskets and some solid perimeter defense. The Canadian recorded 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor and finishing as a +17 in his 31 minutes.

Kuminga provided arguably the highlight of the game, soaring for a putback slam late in the third period that furthered his team’s momentum. The third-year forward had 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists, also shooting an efficient 8-of-13 from the floor.

Having been pushed back to the bench, Brandin Podziemski still played 22 minutes and recorded six points and five rebounds. Fellow rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis was out through knee soreness, leaving an opportunity for veteran Kevon Looney who provided an impact with seven points and six rebounds off the bench.

The Warriors have reclaimed some breathing space over the Houston Rockets for the Western Conference’s tenth-seed, but will have little time to savour the victory as they travel to Orlando to face the Magic on the second night of a back-to-back.

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