Mateo’s Hoop Diary: Heat players, coaches and trainers were shamed at home in loss to the Warriors

The short-handed Heat hosted the second Golden State Strangler (Draymond Green) and the Warriors, getting disgraced, inching closer to a return to the Play-In Tournament.

The Heat was missing Jimmy Butler (illness), Tyler Herro (foot), Duncan Robinson (back) and Kevin Love (heel).

Not even three minutes into the game, Draymond Green, tied for second in flagrant foul points and shares the fifth spot in accumulated technical fouls, nearly decapitated Patty Mills while battling for positioning in the lane. The refs reviewed the play, failing to call a flagrant foul. Just as I thought: this repeat offender’s antics have desensitized officials, and now, nothing short of leaving a rival unconscious or maiming someone will force the refs to crack down.

But the Heat missed nine of its first 11 attempts, getting swarmed by the Warriors’ backline. Following the opening dry spell, the hosts made 71.4% of their tries to end the period, with mainly Nikola Jović and Adebayo attacking. The former sprayed a right-wing triple and cut into the lane for a layup off a feed by his center. And the latter swished a fader facing Kevon Looney in the paint, made two hooks against the zone and canned a trailing catch-and-shoot trifecta at the top.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr instantly called timeout, and when his crew came out of it, the Heatles’ 2-2-1 press created an eight-second violation.

After one quarter, the Heat led 26-24, shooting 44% to the Warriors’ 61.1%. The hosts were also outrebounded by five.

Next, Golden State’s Klay Thompson converted two threes, firing behind Looney’s pin down on the right wing and making another in the same spot, using a horns play set up by Chris Paul. Jonathan Kuminga broke into the square for a bucket in the half court and finished on the break, too.

Yet, the Heat countered. Jaime Jaquez Jr. buried a corner three and opposite baseline jumper, plus Adebayo cracked the Warriors’ 2-3 zone, going at the low man, Andrew Wiggins, with a hook and turnaround jumper.

Then, past the midway mark of the period, as Terry Rozier misfired a left-side deep jumper, Adebayo was crushed between Gary Payton II and Moses Moody, hitting his head on the way down. Rozier intentionally fouled Moody on the other side to stop the clock. Within a minute, Adebayo, who was withering in pain, stood holding the back of his head and was helped to the bench.

Preposterously, this wasn’t enough for Jay Sabol and his trainers, who can’t keep the others on the floor by the way, or Spo and his assistants to wonder if Adebayo should enter concussion protocols. Perhaps if he fell flat onto his spine or face, safety would have taken a front seat over competitive fervor.

I don’t believe anyone saw him “removed from participation by either a team physician or the player’s team athletic trainer and undergo evaluation in a quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to conducting a neurological evaluation.”

After the game, coach Erik Spoelstra said, “I thought it should have been a flagrant foul…Three guys have to see that when someone gets hit that hard. But he’s fine; he is tough. That happened in the first half, and he was really good in that second half.”

And keep in mind that at the post-game presser, Adebayo said he stayed on the ground because he was trying to make sure he was all right. He “shook it off and got right back to the game.”

Anyways, Haywood Highsmith delivered seven of his 10 second-quarter points following the timeout. He downed a top-of-the-key three, scored a layup on the break set up by Adebayo’s block on Green, and subsequently stripped Paul in Warriors territory, scooping off the glass.

For the Warriors, Thompson made another trifecta, and Moody added six points to close the half.

At intermission, the Heat was up 55-53 and ahead on the glass by three. It also had 26 paint points, four on the break, four via second chances, eight after turnovers, and 21 from the bench.

Adebayo scored 13 points on six of 11 attempts, with six rebounds, four assists and a block. Caleb Martin logged eight points, with two rebounds and five assists. And JJJ and Jović each registered an efficient seven marks.

The Warriors picked up 26 interior points, six in the open court, five on extra tries, seven after turnovers and 14 from the reserves.

Thompson drained 15 points on six of eight ventures and picked up three boards and two dimes. Kunming scored eight on 57.1% shooting, with a rebound and two assists. Curry and Wiggins had a productive seven points apiece.

After coming out of the locker rooms for the 15-minute break, the guests were the stronger team. They stifled the Heat’s deep jumpers with clean contests and outscored them by a dozen in the third quarter. The only hosts to record multiple baskets were Adebayo and Rozier. The rest of the squad converted two of 14 shots.

For the Warriors, the aggressors were Wiggins, bursting into the lane and popping behind the elbow for a jumper; Kuminga, slicing the baseline thrice, jamming a lob, overpowering Rozier at the cup and finishing a putback; and Thompson, contributing eight points.

The fourth quarter began with the Heat down 75-85. Its long-range assault was foiled as it blanked all eight attempts as the Warriors switched, locked and trailed well on snipers plus shaded and recovered quickly.

Within the last five minutes, the Heat still had a chance for redemption. The Warriors responded with the Curry + Green pick and roll setting up a baseline dunk for Kuminga; Wiggins scored on the succeeding play in transition; and Thompson nailed a left-side jumper. The Warriors went up 17 points.

It got so ugly there was even an Alondes Williams sighting in the last 94 seconds for the Heat and a Warriors Gui Santos insertion late. (Williams signed a two-way contract with the Heat on Feb. 9. The Warriors picked Williams up on Nov. 7.)

The Heat lost 92-113 and was outrebounded by three. The squad had 46 paint points, 10 on the break, six via second chances, 14 after turnovers and 28 from the bench.

Adebayo ended the night with 24 points on 10 of 21 looks, recovered nine rebounds, and had five helpings and one block. Rozier and Highsmith contributed 15 points apiece. And JJJ had 12 points on 40% shooting, with two rebounds.

The Warriors had 52 interior points, 18 in the open court, 13 on extra tries, 13 after turnovers and 29 from the reserves.

Thompson produced 28 points on 11 of 20 tries, with five boards and two dimes. Kuminga scored 18 on 61.5% accuracy and absorbed seven rebounds. And Wiggins and Curry had 17 points each.

Spoelstra said, “You have to credit Golden State. They knew what this game was about… These are must wins for both teams going down the stretch, and they were able to get the job done tonight.”

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