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Warriors return home to face Heat

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors hope a winning streak achieved on the road translates to a higher rate of success at home when they open an eight-day homestand against the Miami Heat on Monday night.

The Heat will be playing the second game of a back-to-back when they take the court for a third straight on the road. They will oppose a Golden State team that will be playing its next four games at home.

Miami (4-5) easily could be 2-0 to start a six-game trip. The Heat fell victim to three late free throws in a 95-94 loss Friday at Denver before rebounding with a 104-101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon.

When last seen on their home court, the Warriors were taking a 115-107 loss to the Detroit Pistons that dropped them to 2-2 at Oracle Arena and 4-3 overall.

The defending champs righted themselves on a visit to Los Angeles on Oct. 30, blitzing the Clippers 141-113 to tip off a three-game trip that also featured a 20-point win over the San Antonio Spurs and 19-point romp over the Denver Nuggets.

"We didn't play well a few games early on," Warriors forward Kevin Durant said of the start of the season, which began with a 122-121 home loss to Houston on opening night. "The last three games have been solid for us, so we're going to try to build on that, take it home and take care of home."

The Warriors (7-3) surely fired on all cylinders on the three-game road sweep. They scorched the nets to the tune of 145 of 263 (55.1 percent) from the field and 46 of 97 (47.2 percent) on 3-pointers during the trip.

Golden State returns home as the league leader in field-goal percentage at 52.6 percent.

The Warriors hit the Clippers, Spurs and Nuggets from all directions.

Stephen Curry averaged 24.7 points, sinking 15 3-pointers. Durant averaged 22.7 points, connecting on 25 of 42 shots (59.5 percent). Klay Thompson connected for nine 3-pointers among his 19.0 scoring average, and Draymond Green enjoyed his best three-game stretch of the season, contributing 47 points, 21 rebounds and 20 assists.

Things didn't go so well the last time the Warriors saw the Heat. Dion Waiters connected on a last-second 3-pointer that gave Miami a 105-102 home win last January.

Waiters hoisted a similar attempt, only to see it go in-and-out, on Friday in Miami's heartbreaking, one-point loss at Denver.

The Heat nearly took what would have been a more disappointing loss Sunday when they saw a 23-point, fourth-quarter lead slip away against the Clippers.

While criticizing himself for not calling enough timeouts during the Los Angeles run, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra saw a positive in the way the Sunday game played out.

"Right now for us, we have to find ways, different ways on the road, even if it is crazy, even if it is ugly," he said. "And I think it's really important for our team to go through the games that we went through the last two games, and even the Minnesota game, where there's incredible emotion, and then what is required of that is incredible, competitive emotional stability."

Miami forward James Johnson, whose foul on Paul Millsap produced the winning free throws for the Nuggets on Friday, secured the Sunday win with two foul shots with 8.7 seconds left.

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