MIAMI -- The Warriors took down the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on their home court Thursday, delivering a 123-114 win.

The most telling aspect about the Warriors' victory might be their reaction: They feel they belong in the discussion among the NBA's top teams, and this was simply another chance to showcase it.

"Obviously we know who we're playing against and how tough it is to win here," said guard Stephen Curry, who dazzled with another All-Star type performance of 36 points and 12 assists.

"But it's more about continuing our performance that we've put on the last two weeks," he said. "That's our mentality, not circling games because of who we're playing, because we feel like if we play the way we're supposed to, we're going to be in every game and have a chance to win it."

Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley guards Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes during the first half at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on
Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley guards Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes during the first half at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/MCT)

The Warriors (21-13) have won seven in a row, their longest streak since winning eight straight in 2005.

This is the second straight season the Warriors have come into American Airlines Arena on a long road trip and took down the defending champions. It's the Heat's first regular-season home loss to a Western Conference team since that Dec. 12, 2012, win by Golden State, snapping a 15-game winning streak as a sellout crowd of 20,350 watched.

"They played a heck of a game, they deserved to win this one," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the Warriors. "When they needed to make pivotal plays during the course of the game, they made the plays and we didn't."

LeBron James led Miami (24-8) with 26 points but committed eight turnovers. Golden State coach Mark Jackson wouldn't take credit for his team forcing James into an uncharacteristically sloppy night.

"You don't take credit for defense against LeBron, because against the same defense he can get 50," Jackson said.

Curry hit eight 3-pointers and the Warriors shot 15 of 29 from beyond the arc. They nailed 56.1 percent from the field after making 15 of 19 (78.9 percent) in the first quarter, including 5 of 6 from downtown.

"We started the game off very strong, and were just happy we were able to sustain it the entire game, because as we know, they're a championship-level team that's going to make plays down the stretch," David Lee said.

Lee was the perfect complement to the red-hot shooting of Curry. Lee scored 32 points on 13-of-17 shooting and pulled down 14 rebounds. It's the second time this year Curry and Lee have gone for 30/10 on the same night.

Lee, like Curry, refused to put any extra stock in beating the champs.

"It keeps the ball rolling," Lee said. "Any time you play the champions like this it's a good measuring point for you, and tonight was no exception. I think this is just another game, but I'm happy the way our team responded to playing a great team on the road. We have a lot of respect for those guys."

Miami Heat guard Ray Allen passes the ball over his head during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on
Miami Heat guard Ray Allen passes the ball over his head during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/MCT)

Curry definitely was the showstopper. He had 22 points in the second half, and as the game wore on the crowd buzzed when he lined up for a shot.

"Curry was spectacular," Jackson said. "If he doesn't make the All-Star team, I might retire."

"One of the best shooters this NBA will see," James said of Curry. "I mean, if you can find a better shooter than him right now, especially with the way he handles the ball -- and the light that he has, it's more than green, it's fluorescent -- you just hope that he misses."

The Warriors led by 15 in the third quarter but Miami pulled with four points with 4:28 left in the game. The lead was six points when James missed two free throws and Curry answered by nailing a 3. Within a flash, Golden State had a 13-point lead, and the game was in the bag.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.

INSIDE

Thompson: Curry becoming true playmaker as Warriors hit their stride. PAGE 5


FRIDAY'S GAME

Warriors (21-13) at Atlanta (18-14),
4:30 p.m. CSNBA

FRIDAY'S GAME

Warriors (21-13) at Atlanta (18-14),
4:30 p.m. CSNBA