MIAMI (AP) — Golden State coach Steve Kerr gave the Warriors an unexpected day off Saturday, so they could enjoy some balmy weather and get beach time in Miami.
It energized the reigning NBA champions.
Stephen Curry scored 30 points in 30 minutes, Kevin Durant added 24 and the Warriors rode a big third-quarter run to pull away and beat the Miami Heat 123-95 on Sunday night. Curry and Durant didn’t even play in the fourth quarter, getting more unplanned but deserved time off.
“Just needed to get some sun and hit the clubs,” Kerr deadpanned, the sarcasm clear. “That’s what the coaches and I did. We were out all night.”
Klay Thompson scored 19 points for the Warriors, who started the second half on an 18-3 run and outscored Miami 37-17 in the third. Golden State’s lead was only two at the half, then ballooned to 99-77 going into the fourth.
Curry — playing with a sore finger on his shooting hand — had 16 of his points in the first quarter, then 10 more in the third.
“Nothing magical or no secret sauce to it,” Curry said. “Just trying to be efficient.”
Goran Dragic scored 20 points for the Heat. They led by eight in the early going and 36-33 after the first quarter. The Heat then scored 41 points in the next 24 minutes.
“Golden State took it to a different level,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “What I wanted to see was a competitive response.”
Starting with a layup by Curry late in the half, Golden State made 10 out of 11 shots in one stretch. Curry had two 3-pointers in that third-quarter barrage, and his driving score pushed the lead out to 80-63.
At that point, he had 30 points in the game’s first 28 1/2 minutes. He didn’t score again, and the Warriors didn’t need much more help anyway.
“The first half we competed with them,” Dragic said. “Second half, we didn’t.”
Golden State would eventually lead by 33. Miami was outscored by 26 in the second half.
Warriors: Shaun Livingston got ejected with 6:24 left in the first half after going forehead-to-forehead with referee Courtney Kirkland while arguing a non-call. Kirkland said the ejection “was for making physical contact with me.” The Warriors had a pre-planned rest day for Livingston on Monday, and Kerr didn’t indicate that would change. ... Andre Iguodala (sore knee) didn’t play. ... Golden State swept the season series with Miami.
Heat: Dion Waiters, who made the last-second 3-pointer to beat Golden State in Miami last season, shot 1 for 10. ... Miami plays six of its next eight games on the road. ... Miami was outscored 58-32 in the paint, and outrebounded 41-28.
Golden State has 18 wins this season, and eight of them have been by at least 20 points.
Charles Hinkle tweeted a video last month of the moment he gave his nephew — 11-year-old Warriors fan Malichi Sims — tickets to this game. Curry took notice, and Sims got a night he won’t forget. The Warriors sent Hinkle and Sims a care package for the game, Sims was on the court pregame, shot a 3-pointer with the Warriors and had some time to talk to Curry, his favorite player. “Blew my mind,” the boy said.
Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who may be trading NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, sat courtside. A mix of boos and cheers were heard when he was shown on the arena screens.
Udonis Haslem’s son, Kedonis, plays football at Toledo, which won the MAC title. Between father and son, they have at least 11 championship rings — maybe more — from high school, college and pro levels. The Heat tri-captain isn’t actually sure how many they have. “Nice little collection. Let’s keep it going,” Haslem said.
Warriors: At New Orleans on Monday night.
Heat: At San Antonio on Wednesday night.