SAN FRANCISCO: Kevin Durant and Draymond Green steered the Golden State Warriors to a scrappy 97-80 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) to give the NBA champions a fourth straight win.
Durant scored 21 points with eight rebounds while Green weighed in with 18 points and nine rebounds as the Warriors were made to work for victory by a physical Miami team at Oracle Arena.
The win saw the Warriors improve to 8-3 in the Western Conference standings, putting them alongside leaders Houston.
Warriors duo Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry had a relatively quiet night, with Thompson scoring 13.
Curry added 16 but had an off night with his normally reliable three-point shooting, making just two of nine attempts.
Overall, the Warriors were off-target with their shooting from the field, making just 36.8 percent of attempts.
Miami’s top scorer was James Johnson with 21 points, followed by Goran Dragic who scored 19 and Kelly Olynk with 10.
The Warriors had opened up a 50-37 halftime lead but were never able to fully cut loose from a dogged Miami team.
Heat rallied to cut a 20-point deficit to just 10 points in the third quarter but the Warriors were able to keep their opponents at arm’s length for the remainder of the contest.
“That’s a scrappy team,” Green said afterwards. “We knew coming into this game it was going to be tough, they were going to grab, they were going to hold.
“It wasn’t pretty we couldn’t make our shots, so we knew we had to just stick to the basics, play physical and grind out a win.”