No one picks up a beat in the West

Defeats for Warriors, Spurs and Pelicans and trouble for the last places in the playoffs and the play in. Curry and Kerr, frustrated with theirs. The Spurs, bad.

It's the year that it is for the Warriors, and Stephen Curry looked visibly frustrated, on the bench and during the last moments of his team's loss in Miami, where the Heat (116-109) almost always led the way, never out of shape. very loose but finally enough. It's a strange season for Spoelstra too, now three wins in a row after six losses that had followed five wins.But, with the course already so advanced, everyone is being where they need to be, without scares or magic tricks. The Heat are (25-24) fifth in the East, pushing to finish fourth behind the trio that flies ahead (Nets, Sixers, Bucks). The goal of the Florida team, who defend the throne of the Conference, is to reach the playoffs behind those three ... but with less of a prey and more of a hunter. To do this, they are showing their new face, already with Trevor Ariza and Victor Oladipo in the quintet and headline and Nemanja Bjeliça in the rotation.

The Warriors have lost five games of six and are 23-25. Tenths of the West, much further from avoiding play in (six and a half games from the Blazers, already unattainable a priori) than from having to fight it still hard: they take one game to the Kings and one and a half to the Pelicans. They are also in the middle of the Grizzlies and two of the Spurs. But the feeling prevails that this is what there is, that the flashes of brilliance of the season are just that, flashes, for a team that (I insist) is what it is, without Klay Thompson always and with a James Wiseman whose growth problems (terrible on nights like this: 4 points, 1/5 in shots, 4 rebounds, 5 losses ...) do not seem to fit with the competitive life line of Draymond Green (16 + 10 + 8 and 4 steals) and a Curry (36 points , 5/11 in triples) who is playing with serious problems in the coccyx, sore and complaining about the lack of "intelligence" of a team that lost 20 balls and conceded 27 points to the Heat. In addition, Green was hurt by a blow to the ribs, Poole and Looney suffered ankle problems and Steve Kerr assured that they have time but that is "lip service" if things do not really change on the court.

The Warriors were alive until the last minutes. They won (67-68) in the middle of the third quarter, they were in the game in the last (88-86), before a 10-0 run and the advantage reached 12 points for the Heat who have an army of defenders with muscle and size and expert and competitive players. Uno Iguodala, MVP in the 2015 Finals with the Warriors and who played one of his best games with the Heat, with 10 points in the fourth quarter. In addition, Butler added 22 with 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals; Duncan Robinson 21, Herro 20, Adebayo 19 with 8 rebounds and 6 assists and Oladipo started with 6 points and 5 assists (2/8 in shooting) .


The Spurs are not to shoot rockets, either. In an a priori desirable stretch of nine home games, they are 2-5 in the first seven, with two pending before returning to the road with a very complicated schedule. Total, that with six defeats in eight games they remain with a 24-22 that is worth them to be the eighth of the West, for now with three games ahead of the first that would not be in the play in.

But the feelings are not good: the Hawks won after two overtimes (129-134) and are seventh in the East, at 24-24 and with a margin of six games over the first without play in. The East is something else. The Hawks won after two overtime periods… but they had to have won first. In regulation time they had a 4-point advantage and possession with 24 seconds left. Huerter, waiting for the foul, lost the ball to White, Murray scored a 2 + 1, Trae Young missed one of his two free throws, DeMar DeRozan scored with two seconds left and Trae failed again: from 105-109 to 110- 110. Hard to understand. At least the Hawks weren't off-center and Trae Young overcame his mistakes with 15 points in overtime for 28 totals with 12 assists. In addition, in a team with quite a few casualties, Clint Capela also added 28 points (with 17 rebounds, 5 blocks and 10/10 in free throws) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (with 5 + 5 and 4/5 in triples). The Spurs looked tired at the end. DeRozan went to 36 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists, White scored 29 points on 7/13 on 3s and Dejounte Murray finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Bad game for Patty Mills, whose aim (1/10 in shots) missed her team to accompany Rudy Gay (18 points) from the bench.PELICANS 110-MAGIC 115

Another that does not take advantage in the West is New Orleans Pelicans, which in its case had the excuse of casualties: neither Lonzo Ball nor Brandon Ingram nor Zion Williamson played against a Magic that, suddenly, have seen two unlikely away wins against Clippers and Pelicans. And that in their previous game they gave the Lakers a good scare. The Florida team, with an eye on the draft and on developing the youngsters, won in overtime with very good details from a clearly rising Okeke, Hampton, Bamba and especially Wendell Carter Jr, who is shining in his long-awaited restart. after a difficult stage at Chicago Bulls: 21 points, 12 rebounds.

In draw, the Pelicans lost in overtime but could have won. They lived off the successes of Nickeil Alexander-Walker (31 points) and finally fell due to the failures of the 22-year-old electric guard, who goes to more and demands an important place on the track even when Lonzo returns (the problem may be Bledsoe). With that and the work of Hart (14 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists) and Adams, the Pelicans won at the start of the fourth quarter (78-71) before taking a 0-14 run that reached 2-17 (80-88). The failures of NAW and Terrence Ross (the veteran appeared later and finished with 19 points and 5 assists) led to overtime, in which the Pelicans again obstructed with everything in their favor: 109-105 with 90 seconds left. Ross points, an Okeke steal and NAW misses (key free throw included) sent the victory to Florida (17-31 now). The Pelicans remain 21-26, twelfth in the West and one game average for the Warriors and two for the Grizzlies, the teams that close the play zone.

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