Dion Waiters Lights Up the Warriors for 33 Points and a Game-Winner


(Photo: Getty Images)

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters has never lacked confidence.

Over the offseason, he turned down a one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer contract from the Oklahoma City Thunder, believing teams would be lining up to dump money on the man who made his college teammates call him "Kobe Wade."

They didn't.

Instead, he signed a two-year deal worth below $6 million with the Heat, including a player option on the second season.

And up until Miami's last two games, he's the 25-year-old wing has played down to his contract.

On Monday night, Waiters ripped off his second consecutive game with 33 points, and he did it against the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors. The last three points of his output were crucial, as the Syracuse product rocked Klay Thompson backwith a crossover then pulled up for a game-winning three-pointer that fell through with 0.6 seconds left.

"I knew it was good," Waiters said after the 105-102 victory. "He let me get to my shot."

"If anyone would hit a game-winner against me, it would be Dion Waiters," Kevin Durant said.

Before Waiters scored 33 points in his previous contest, a 109-97 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, he was averaging 13 points on horrid shooting splits in 2016-17: 37.4 percent from the field, 31 percent from three, and 66.7 percent at the free-throw line.

"He's not scared. He's not afraid," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Waiters. "He's fearless. He wants those moments as much as anybody."

Durant led the way for Golden State with 27 points. Thompson and Stephen Curry scored 22 and 21, respectively.