NBA Basketball

Heat next to try and cool lava-hot Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 18: The San Antonio Spurs huddle up during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 18, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Nothing much these days has been stopping -- or even slowing down -- San Antonio, which is rolling into the final 11 games of the NBA season like a powerful and loaded freight train.

The Miami Heat will be the next team to try to pull the brake on the Spurs' express, but will have to be at their best to keep from being the latest opponent to be pushed off the tracks when the two teams square off on Wednesday at the AT&T Center in the Alamo City.

San Antonio (42-29) has won nine straight games, with its most recent victory a 111-105 dismantling of defending NBA-champion Golden State at home on Monday. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.

The Spurs led by four points heading into the final quarter and were never headed over the final 12 minutes, building as much as a nine-point advantage and repelling each of the Warriors' attempts to take charge.

"We worked very hard," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the win over Golden State's band of stars. "We made a lot of mistakes against the best team in basketball, probably.

"They move and cut better than anybody in the world. So, it was a great classroom, so to speak, to be able to try to guard that all night long. The effort was there for 48 minutes and we learned a lot hopefully, so that's a good thing."

The win allowed the Spurs to improve to a season-best 13 games over .500 and clinched the franchise's 22nd consecutive winning campaign, extending its own NBA record.

Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs while Derrick White and Patty Mills hit for 12 and 10 points, respectively, for San Antonio.

The Spurs haven't lost since falling to Brooklyn 101-85 on Feb. 25 in the last game of its annual Rodeo Road Trip. They have 11 games left in the regular season -- five at home and six on the road.

"We are just figuring it out," Aldridge said. "Guys are playing better and we are trying to be better defensively. Our communication has been better. It's just winning time and everybody senses that, which is why everyone is trying to play better and figure it out."

The Heat travel south into San Antonio after a 116-107 win at Oklahoma City on Monday that marked Miami's seventh win in its past nine games. The Thunder played without All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, was sat out the game with a suspension after receiving his 16th technical foul.

Goran Dragic racked up 26 points and 11 assists with zero turnovers for the Heat (34-36), while Dwyane Wade added 25 points in 33 minutes, which is the second-most minutes he's played in his final NBA season.

"You know, what are we saving him for?" Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told the Miami Herald. "We have 3 1/2 weeks left in the regular season. We've load-managed him all season long. Let's just go for it. He wants to play. I want him to play. We need him."

Led by Dragic and Wade, the Heat's bench outscored the Thunder's bench 67-10. Reserve forward James Johnson hit for 14 points for Miami in the win.

"When you're able to bring experienced players like that into the game, I say it: 'They don't get sick at sea,'" Spoelstra said. "They've seen everything, and that just gives you kind a calm to be able to execute and try to get something coherent."

With Monday's win, the Heat strengthened its hold on the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot to 1 1/2 games over the Orlando Magic with 12 regular-season games to play.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 20, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
NHL
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Teams Score Time
Air Force   Fri 9:00pm
Boise State  
Utah   Fri 9:00pm
USC  
Boston College   Sat 12:00pm
Rutgers  
Elon   Sat 12:00pm
Wake Forest  
LSU   Sat 12:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Michigan State   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin  
Southern Mississippi   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Tennessee   Sat 12:00pm
Florida  
Western Michigan   Sat 12:00pm
Syracuse  
Appalachian State   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Auburn   Sat 3:30pm
Texas A&M  
Louisville   Sat 3:30pm
Florida State  
Miami (OH)   Sat 3:30pm
Ohio State  
UCF   Sat 3:30pm
Pittsburgh  
Washington   Sat 3:30pm
BYU  
Central Michigan   Sat 4:00pm
Miami  
Ball State   Sat 7:00pm
NC State  
Old Dominion   Sat 7:00pm
Virginia  
Oregon   Sat 7:00pm
Stanford  
Charlotte   Sat 7:30pm
Clemson  
Oklahoma State   Sat 7:30pm
Texas  
Notre Dame   Sat 8:00pm
Georgia  
UCLA   Sat 10:30pm
Washington State  
Teams Score Time
Interleague
Seattle 6 F
Pittsburgh 0
San Francisco 7 F
Boston 6
Tampa Bay 5 F
Los Angeles 7
Seattle   7:05pm
Pittsburgh  
San Francisco   7:10pm
Boston  
Tampa Bay   8:10pm
Los Angeles  
American League
Los Angeles 0 F
New York 8
Toronto 8 F
Baltimore 5
Detroit 2 F
Cleveland 7
Chicago 8 F
Minnesota 9
Texas 1 F
Houston 4
Kansas City 1 F
Oakland 2
Kansas City   3:37pm
Oakland  
Los Angeles   6:35pm
New York  
Toronto   7:05pm
Baltimore  
Detroit   7:10pm
Cleveland  
Chicago   7:40pm
Minnesota  
Texas   8:10pm
Houston  
National League
Philadelphia 5 F
Atlanta 4
San Diego 1 F
Milwaukee 3
Washington 6 F
St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 4 F
Chicago 2
New York 6 F
Colorado 1
Miami 12 F
Arizona 6
Washington   1:15pm
St. Louis  
New York   3:10pm
Colorado  
Miami   3:40pm
Arizona  
Philadelphia   7:20pm
Atlanta  
San Diego   7:40pm
Milwaukee  
Cincinnati   8:05pm
Chicago  
Teams Score Time
Tennessee   Thu 8:20pm
Jacksonville  
Teams Score Time
Ottawa 3 F
Toronto 1
Buffalo 1 F
Columbus 4
Carolina 3 F
Tampa Bay 0
Philadelphia 2 F/OT
New York 3
Chicago 3 F
Detroit 5
Dallas 2 F/OT
Minnesota 1
Vegas 5 F
Colorado 0
Anaheim 4 F
San Jose 3
Edmonton 2 F
Vancouver 4
Los Angeles 4 F
Arizona 1
Arizona 5 F
Los Angeles 0
Florida   7:00pm
Montreal  
New Jersey   7:00pm
New York  
St. Louis   7:00pm
Washington  
Tampa Bay   7:00pm
Carolina  
Toronto   7:30pm
Ottawa  
Minnesota   8:00pm
Winnipeg  
Detroit   8:30pm
Chicago  
San Jose   9:00pm
Calgary  
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2 4 Kevin Harvick 3
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6 88 Alex Bowman 19
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8 42 Kyle Larson 15
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1 2 Tyler Reddick 4
2 20 Christopher Bell 2
3 19 Brandon Jones 6
4 00 Cole Custer 1
5 7 Justin Allgaier 3
6 9 Noah Gragson 36
7 08 Gray Gaulding 16
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 13
9 18 Riley Herbst 15
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1 16 Austin Hill 7
2 45 Ross Chastain 2
3 51 Christian Eckes 1
4 2 Sheldon Creed 6
5 4 Todd Gilliland 3
6 30 Brennan Poole 18
7 24 Brett Moffitt 4
8 99 Ben Rhodes 13
9 18 Harrison Burton 9