Miami never trailed and managed to keep Portland at arm’s length for virtually the entire game. After falling behind by double-digits early in the first half, the Blazers made several inspired runs, but couldn’t find a way to complete the comeback. The Heat started at a blistering pace - four players didn’t even miss a shot until the second half - and gave themselves a cushion that was just too much to overcome.
Random thoughts and takeaways
Robin’s Robin. With Damian Lillard suffering through a poor shooting night (just 5-15 from the floor), and Jusuf Nurkic not much of a factor, the Blazers were parched for reliable scoring almost all night. The two sources that could be counted on: CJ McCollum, who wasted an otherwise excellent 33-point effort in the loss, and Jake Layman, who perhaps saw the incoming of Rodney Hood as a threat to his livelihood and responded with a coach, you can’t bench me kind of performance. The Turtle was all over the place, knocking down threes, finishing timely cuts to the basket and even finishing crashing alley-oops from Evan Turner. His 25 points was near tops for his young career and even more encouraging because of the variety in which he delivered them. Don’t sleep on Jake.
Age is a state of mind. Barring extremely unlikely circumstances, tonight was the final visit to the Moda Center for Wade before his surely Hall of Fame 16-year career rides off into the sunset. He was fittingly greeted to a standing ovation upon entering midway through the first quarter, but the enthusiasm wavered as he proceeded to dismantle the Blazers. Wade made the most of 29 minutes with 22 points, much of which coming in vintage fashion. It was an impressive, yet bitter farewell for an extraordinary player, but probably one Portland fans hoped ended differently.
The Blazers will get a day off, and wait for the trade deadline to pass at Noon PT Thursday, before hosting the San Antonio Spurs in yet another TNT game later that night at 7:30 pm.