OAKLAND -- The Warriors have proven this season they can erase a big deficit in a hurry and steal victories, but that's a formula that doesn't generally work against the two-time defending NBA champions. Golden State found that out the hard way in a 111-110 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
The Heat went on an 18-8 run to start the third quarter, pushing the lead to 75-54, but the Warriors countered with a 28-9 run of their own to close out the period. The Warriors took the lead on the first score of the fourth quarter, a Stephen Curry 3-pointer that gave Golden State its first advantage since it was 10-8 with just over 7 minutes left in the first quarter.
The fourth remained close throughout, with the Warriors taking a 110-108 lead on a Curry layup and free throw with 14 seconds left. Reigning MVP LeBron James had an answer though, as he nailed a step-back 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left to steal the win for the Heat.
After being held to just one field-goal attempt in the first quarter, Curry led the Warriors with 29 points in the team's final game before the All-Star break. Curry will represent the Warriors on the Western Conference team in Sunday's All-Star Game. David Lee added 21 points and 11 rebounds.
James, who will play for the East in the All-Star Game, countered for the Heat by flirting with a triple-double, recording 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
The lead changed hands three times in the last 1:22 of the game, with Curry and James each trying to lift their team to the win.
The absence of Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O'Neal left the Warriors without a true center, a problem that was apparent throughout the game, as the Heat tallied 56 points in the paint and repeatedly pushed the Warriors around on the other end.
NOTES: With Heat guard Dwyane Wade a late scratch, Toney Douglas got the start for Miami. Douglas was traded from the Warriors last month. He finished with one point in 11 minutes of action. ... The game was delayed briefly when pieces of glass fell from a disco ball hanging above the basket came loose and fell to the floor in the third quarter.