The Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 118-112 on Wednesday night in a game that featured 13 lead changes in the fourth quarter alone.
Stephen Curry finished with 42 points, and Klay Thompson scored 15 consecutive points for Golden State in the fourth on his way to a 33-point night. Curry made a pair of free throws with 18.5 seconds left to get to the 40-point mark for the ninth time this season, and soon the Warriors walked off a winner for the 51st time in 56 games this season.
But Miami more than made them earn it. Dwyane Wade had a season-high 32 points and seven assists for the Heat, who led by 12 early and went up 108-107 when Wade made a pair of free throws with 56.5 seconds left.
On the next possession, Whiteside blocked a 3-point try from Draymond Green — his Twitter nemesis, after they exchanged words on the social media platform last year — but the ball found its way to Curry, who connected.
Whiteside had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, which got 16 points from Luol Deng and 15 from rookie Josh Richardson. Harrison Barnes scored 11 and Green finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.
For a team that has had its resilience tested mightily lately — first the loss of All-Star forward Chris Bosh to a blood clot in his leg, presumably for the rest of the season, and now backup point guard Beno Udrih to season-ending foot surgery — the Heat came out flying. They held Golden State to 35 percent shooting in the first quarter, leading by as many as 12 in the early going.
Curry kept the Warriors in it: He was 6 for 11 in the opening quarter, including a 40-footer to end the period. His teammates were just 2 for 12 in the opening 12 minutes.
Miami’s lead was 55-51 at the half, and the Heat survived an early spurt by the Warriors out of intermission to take an 83-80 edge into the fourth. With Wade and Curry on their respective benches getting breathers for the stretch run, the lead changed hands five times in a 2-minute span early in the fourth, neither team able to grab control.
That is, until the final minute, when the MVP did what MVPs do.