Erik Spoelstra reacts angrily to Sunday's officiating.
This is all you need to know about how competitive Sunday night's 120-118 loss was to the Golden State Warriors.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opened his postgame comments with a vent about officiating.
With it difficult to recall the last time that happened to this degree.
"Look, NBA do not fine me. I'm allowed to say this. It ends up being 26 to 8," he said of the Warriors' free-throw total compared to the Heat's. "I know nobody wants to hear that, and that's not why we lost.
"The officials, so let's be clear about it, so I do not get fined, that's not why we lost. But you hate to see 26 to 8 when our guys are going aggressively."
And yet it was one specific play that Spoelstra would not allow to escape scrutiny.
After the Heat had blown a 19-point first-quarter lead, and after the Warriors had blown a nine-point fourth-quarter lead, it stood tied 118-118 after a Kevin Durant 3-pointer and a missed jumper by Heat forward Justise Winslow.
That's when the Warriors played for a final shot, with Durant trying to get free with his dribble for another dagger.
Only he briefly lost his dribble, with the ball rolling as the Warriors forward touched it with one hand and then the other.
Allowed to play on, he then hoisted an errant 3-pointer, with the rebound corralled by teammate DeMarcus Cousins. With the Warriors center fouled by Winslow on the play, he converted two free throws with 5.4 seconds to close out the scoring.
"It's a double-dribble," Spoelstra said. "Everybody can see it. Those are tough calls to make, but everybody saw it. It's right there in front of everybody. That should be a violation. And you can't miss those calls."
The ire wasn't completely gone.
With a chance to win or tie following a timeout, the Heat could only get an errant 3-point attempt from Dion Waiters when Josh Richardson, who scored a career-high 37 points, first fell to the court and then into the bench.
"I don’t know if he got knocked off course," Spoelstra said. "But I've said my piece. But it looked like he was coming off and had an opportunity to break free."
Durant led the Warriors with 39 points, with Klay Thompson adding 29 and Stephen Curry 25.
Five degrees of Heat from Sunday's game:
1. Richardson rolls: Richardson had 19 points by the intermission -- shooting 5 of 7 on 3-pointers in the first half -- and just kept on going.
He closed 8 of 11 on 3-pointers, establishing a career high for conversions.
Richardson entered shooting 52 percent over his career against the Warriors, his second-highest percent against an opponent, behind only his .667 against the Dallas Mavericks, the Heat's opponent Wednesday.
Richardson entered with a career high of 32 points, earlier this season against the Atlanta Hawks.
"He was terrific tonight," Spoelstra said. "He did it on both ends of the court. That big steal to put us up by three, and every time we needed him during the course of the game, he followed up with a big bucket."
2. Winslow, too: With Winslow adding a solid effort, including when needed late, it was an encouraging night from the Heat's 2015 draft picks.
"Those guys are on their way," Spoelstra said. "It is not going to be perfect basketball. There is going to be some ups and downs and that is what you’re going to expect with young guys.
"They are gaining a lot of confidence and experience and they are getting better. They are two-way guys, so this is not an easy challenge when you're dealing with an offensive firepower and then your head coach is expecting you to get your team organized with the ball and where it needs to go."
3. Sizzling start: The Heat appear to have something with this revised starting lineup, with Waiters at shooting guard and Kelly Olynyk at power forward.
Friday in Sacramento there was an 11-point first-quarter lead. This time the lead was up to 19 with 4:29 to play in the opening period.
The problem is a second unit that now features a pair of former starters, in James Johnson and Rodney McGruder.
The Warriors eventually tied it in Sunday's second period before the Heat took a 59-54 lead into the intermission.
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4. Middle man: Whiteside's recent run of solid play continued, this time with eight points and nine rebounds in the first half. There could have been more if not for a second foul with four minutes left in the opening period.
"We're a totally different team when he plays with that kind of force," Spoelstra said of Whiteside's current level. "So much of this league is about habits and routine."
It was Whiteside's fifth consecutive double-double and eighth in the last nine games.
The Heat, though, made their closing charge with Bam Adebayo as the center of choice, with Spoelstra praising Adebayo's screen setting.
5. Wade continues on: Wade, who finished with 10 points and nine assists, made it to the court for his final career appearance at Oracle Arena, after being listed as questionable earlier in the day with a back contusion that resulted from his hard fall in Friday's loss to the Kings.
"Any one of us would be in a body brace right now," Spoelstra said. "But he's built like Captain America."
The Warriors offered a tribute video during the first timeout, with Wade getting an ovation then as well as when he checked in shortly thereafter.
"A brilliant player and amazing to watch," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Wade has missed only one game since Jan. 4, the Jan. 30 home game against the Bulls he sat out due to knee soreness.