Steve Kerr after Miami Heat beat Golden State Warriors: ‘It felt like we got demoralized’

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat did more than just defeat the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. They “demoralized” them, according to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

In handing Golden State a 114-102 home loss, Miami led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter. That is even more impressive when considering the fact the Heat were playing without Jimmy Butler (calf), Kyle Lowry (soreness), Caleb Martin (ankle) and Josh Richardson (back).

Tyler Herro led Miami with 26 points as he continues to play well since his return earlier this month from an ankle injury. The Heat have won four in a row with the 23-year-old back in the lineup after losing the first game of his return on Dec. 18.

Jamal Cain chipped in 18 points, and Bam Adebayo and Jaime Jaquez Jr. each scored 17 points for Miami on Thursday.

The game had to be particularly discouraging for the Warriors as they looked to turn the corner on their home court after a tough start to the 2023-24 NBA season. Golden State had won eight consecutive games at Chase Center after losing six of their first seven there to start the campaign. It also fell back below .500 with a 15-16 record after climbing above it thanks to a recent five-game winning streak.

On the other hand, the Heat raised their record to 19-12 with their seventh win in their past nine games. That includes a 119-113 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas when Jaquez scored 31 points.

That performance by the 22-year-old rookie, and Cain’s good showing on Thursday, are just further examples of the contributions Miami is getting from its roster. The Heat have weathered multiple injuries and a 1-4 start to the season to rise to the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into play Friday.

They will look to continue the positive momentum after opening a five-game road trip against Western Conference teams with the convincing victory. They next play at the Utah Jazz followed by high-profile matchups against the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns before their next home game on Jan. 8.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.