The Portland Trail Blazers and Miami heat battled to a standstill through most of Saturday night’s game, but an electrifying late run from the Blazers catapulted them to a victory.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard (19 points), Allen Crabbe (16 points), Moe Harkless, and CJ McCollum (17 points apiece). Evan Turner had a solid night off the bench, with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
This was the classic “tale of two quarters”. In the first quarter, the Heat were scorching, hitting most of their shots and zooming to an 11 point lead. However, it couldn’t last. The Blazers started getting their offense in motion, and just as importantly. got to the line. The Blazers shot 13 free throws to Miami’s 3, and the Heat tallied three technical fouls along the way. Portland used a 26-10 second quarter run to roll into halftime with the lead.
Every Blazer who entered the game in the first half scored, and Harkless and Lillard each scored 11.
Portland Trail Blazers 55, Miami Heat 49
Neither team could really gain traction in the third quarter, and Portland maintained a slim lead for much of the period. Miami’s James Johnson checked out early though, as his foul frustrations bubbled over and he picked up his second technical foul. Portland led by two after the third,
Miami quickly leaped ahead by 7 in the fourth quarter, but Portland responded with a quick 7-0 run to regain the lead, forcing a Miami timeout halfway into the quarter. Miami regained a four-point lead, and when Lillard’s three-pointer closed the gap, the Heat responded with a three of their own. Whiteside’s tip-in pushed Miami ahead by 6 with three minutes left.
Portland apparently needed that timeout. Because they promptly ripped a 9-1 run, capped by a beautiful McCollum floater, to take a two-point lead with 1:22 left in the game. Another Miami miss, another CJ jumper. four-point lead. Miami missed again, and so did Portland... but Harkless snagged the offensive rebound with 20 seconds left. That was all she wrote for the Miami Heat.
The Blazers hit the road. They tip off Monday at 5:00 pm against the Bulls in Chicago. But stay tuned, later tonight Dan Marang has more coverage of tonight’s game.