The Miami Heat will travel on the road to Oracle Arena on Sunday night as they continue their West Coast road trip with a tough matchup versus the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors.
Miami enters Sunday’s matchup clinging to the No. 8-seed in the Eastern Conference standings after posting a 25-28 overall record through their first 53 games. The Heat own a slim half-game lead over the Charlotte Hornets for eighth place in the East standings, but have fared better on the road compared to at home this season. Miami is 14-12 away from home compared to just 11-16 at AmericanAirlines Arena so far this year. Can Miami stun the defending NBA Champions at home in Oracle Arena on Sunday night?
Heat hoping Waiters-Winslow can co-exist
Miami led by as many as 17 points and squandered an 11-point fourth quarter lead to fall on the road to the Sacramento Kings 102-96 on Friday night. The Heat got sloppy with the basketball in the fourth quarter and ended with 18 total turnovers on the night to lose for the fourth time in five games. Josh Richardson scored a team-high 21 points, while Hassan Whiteside added chipped in 17 points and 19 rebounds in a losing effort for the Heat.
The Heat are hoping that they can make the backcourt combination of Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow work for the remainder of the season. Winslow has shifted to the point guard spot and Waiters has traditionally needed the ball in his hands to succeed on offense, but the pair has played well together this season. The team has outscored opponents by 10 points in 138 minutes with them on the court together so far this year.
Miami ranks 23rd in the NBA with an offensive rating of 105.9 for the season and they have allowed 106.4 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor.
Warriors cruise to win over Suns
Golden State barely showed up in Phoenix on Friday night, but they still cruised to a 117-107 victory on the road against the Suns. The Warriors actually trailed heading into the fourth quarter, but they outscored Phoenix by 13 in the final frame to win by double-digits. Klay Thompson scored a team-high 25 points and Kevin Durant added 21 for the Warriors, who turned the ball over 18 times on the night in a sloppy offensive performance.
The Warriors have only had DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup for nine games this season, but the results have been promising with him on the floor. Cousins provided a boost in the win over Phoenix, going for 18 points, five rebounds and four assists in just 27 minutes of action and he’s averaging 14.9 points 6.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per contest in just 22.4 minutes per game so far this year. Fresh off of a devastating achilles tear, Cousins has bounced back to shoot 36.4 percent from beyond the arc and 46.3 percent from the floor during his brief return.
Golden State comes into Sunday’s matchup scoring an NBA-high 116.0 points per 100 possessions, while allowing 108.5 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end the floor (13th in the NBA). They;ve been even better over their past 15 games, scoring 123.7 points per 100 possessions (1st in the NAB), while sporting a net rating of +13.3 during that span.
- Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Warriors are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Western Conference.
- Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall