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Miami Heat lose close one to Warriors

Posted at 10:55 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 22:56:20-05

The Miami Heat battled the Golden State Warriors all game long before falling 118-112 on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat led with under a minute to go before Golden State's Stephen Curry did what he does often. Curry sank a three-point basket to put his team up two and never looked back. Curry would go on to make clutch free-throws down the stretch as well.

Miami held a 12-point lead multiple times and at times it looked like the team could pull off an improbable upset. Despite playing at home, Miami was the underdog in a tough battle against the defending NBA champions. A late run by the Warriors to close out the first half ended up being a problem for Miami, as Golden State continued that solid play to begin the second half.

The Warriors are challenging the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best record in NBA history. That Chicago team lost ten times, and the Warriors still sit with only five losses on this season. Golden State uses its unique shot-making ability to make baskets that other teams do not even attempt. The Warriors also have one of the strongest and yet underrated defenses in the NBA.

Dwyane Wade opened the game with a barrage of baskets and a quick leap to double digits in points. Wade would end up with 32 points and seven assists for the game. One of the best sequences of the season for Wade came during the third quarter when he blocked a shot, picked up a steal and scored a basket all in a matter of seconds.

After beginning the game on the bench once again, Hassan Whiteside entered in a big way and quickly dominated the court. The center was seen dunking and swatting shots left and right. Immediately upon entering the game, Whiteside's presence was felt and that lasted most of the night. Whiteside ended up with 21 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in 32 minutes.

With Beno Udrih and Tyler Johnson both out for the foreseeable future, the Heat turned to Josh Richardson for big minutes. The young guard answered the call with 15 points in 28 minutes. Richardson will be the primary PG behind Goran Dragic going forward, and will need more nights like this for Miami to succeed.

Luol Deng battled a dislocated finger to post a fourth straight double-double. Deng has posted big lines in every game since the All-Star break and has made the loss of Chris Bosh a little easier to take. Deng played his usual solid defense as well against one of the most talented teams in league history.

The Heat will take a couple of days off to rest from Wednesday's busy game, before resuming the schedule on Saturday against the Boston Celtics.

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Courtesy of our news partners at NBCMiami.com.