Stephen Curry gushes about Bam Adebayo while recalling Heat star locking him up years ago

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Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry gave Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo his flowers and recounted when the big man locked him up years ago as a rookie.

“I do remember that play for sure,” Curry said. “It was in this building. He’s versatile. He’s long. He can move his feet. He’s obviously a great rim protector, and there’s a reason they’ve been in the Finals twice. Obviously you know what Jimmy’s [Butler] able to do and the guys around him. But Bam’s a huge part of connecting the game on both ends. He’s obviously a great weapon on the offensive end with his — he can put pressure on the rim. He’s got midrange. He hit a three tonight. They run a lot of actions around him. So then you add that to the defensive presence, that’s why he’s an All-Star. That’s why he is who he is.”

The game in question that Curry referred to occurred all the way back on Dec. 3 of 2017. For perspective on just how long ago that was, the Warriors still had Kevin Durant on their roster, while Butler was not a member of the Heat yet.

Adebayo logged just under 20 minutes of playing time in a game the Heat lost by 28 points and totaled nine points, two rebounds and one steal while shooting 3-of-5 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Curry, meanwhile, scored a team-high 30 points for the Warriors on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

Fast forward to more recently, and the Heat fell to Curry and the Warriors by 21 points on Tuesday. Miami got off to a solid start to the game, as the team held a two-point lead at halftime.

But the Heat were thoroughly outplayed in the second half of the contest, as they were outscored by 11 points or more in each of the final two quarters.

Adebayo played at a much higher level than he did against Curry’s Warriors as a rookie back in 2017, however. The big man stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block while shooting 10-of-21 from the floor.

After dropping Tuesday’s game to the Warriors, Adebayo and the Heat are now losers of three of their last five contests. The Heat also fell to the New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers during that stretch.

Miami is currently right ahead of the 76ers — who sit as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 39-33 record — in the standings.

But fortunately for the Heat and their fans, the team’s next two regular-season contests are against a couple of the worst teams in the league in the Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.