Steph Curry conjured up some magic once, tying the game with a step-back 28-footer with 28 seconds to go, but he couldn’t replicate the magic a second time as his final attempt at the buzzer spun out and the Warriors lost 103-100. The loss means little to Golden State, and again, I’d caution anyone who tries to make it into more than it is – a close loss on the road in the fourth road game in six days, all against good teams. I expect Golden State to get a little much needed rest before their first round playoff series.
And maybe, just maybe, they aren’t so sad they lost last night. The loss (and obvious Pelicans win) coupled with the absolute demolition of the Thunder by the Spurs put the Pels a half-game ahead in the race for the final playoff spot. I doubt that the Dubs are fearful of either team, but perhaps they’d rather face the Pelicans than deal with Hurricane Westbrook for a week…
Meanwhile, the Heat got a late win, 105-100 over Charlotte to pull a half game behind Boston for the eighth playoff spot and a half-game ahead of Indiana, who now has Paul George. I know, I know, it’s just the last playoff spot in a conference that probably gets two or three more than merited – but it is going to be an interesting race the next week and a half and it makes tonight’s Boston at Detroit game and Indiana vs. New York much more watchable.
Let’s get back on track tonight with a winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs -6.5
The Spurs are absolutely on fire right now. They are not just winning games, they are humbling teams in the process. Last night they held 30-plus point leads over Oklahoma City at multiple occasions before taking their foot off the gas and cruising to an easy victory. In the last ten games (9-1 overall and ATS) they have double-digit wins over Oklahoma City (twice), Golden State, Memphis, Dallas and Atlanta. That is a slaughtering of the best the NBA has to offer and has made it impossible not to think the Spurs might just have one last run in them.
However, ramping it up to that level of excellence on back-to-back nights and for the third time on four days may not be in the Coach Pop blueprint with the playoffs so close. San Antonio has clearly demonstrated that they can romp anyone right now, but I like the fight Houston has shown trying to sew up the number two seed.
The Rockets are playing good basketball themselves, winning three in a row and seven of eight including wins over Oklahoma City, Dallas and New Orleans. They are also rested. Houston is 6-0 ATS in their last six games with two days or more rest and they are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against San Antonio. I’m not sure they win outright, but I like them with a half dozen-plus point cushion.