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Spoelstra Credits Portland State’s Gym for Heat’s Defensive Output

Following Sunday’s victory over the Trail Blazers, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra highlighted the role that Saturday’s practice played in stopping Damian Lillard.

Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Miami Heat effectively blitzed and stifled the Trail Blazers potent backcourt on Sunday. The Heat claimed a 107-98 victory over the Blazers and held Damian Lillard to just 12 points. After the game coach Erik Spoelstra spoke to Sun Sentinel reporter Ira Winderman about an unlikely boost that the Heat gained due to Saturday’s practice conditions.

According to the story, the Heat utilized Portland State’s gym for Saturday’s practice. Spoelstra explained that the gym lacked a NBA three-point line, so Miami utilized the half-court stripe as a reference point for its aggressive defensive scheme.

“We practiced at Portland State,” he said. “They didn’t have a 3-point line, so we had to practice our pick-up points a step over halfcourt. That was our only point of comparison.

“So your defense ends up being eight, 10 feet out further than it normally is. If you’re not willing to make big-time multiple efforts and have activity, you have no chance when your defensive is that stretched out.”

As a team, the Blazers shot 31.4 percent from beyond the arc. Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for six three-pointers on 17 attempts from distance.

You can read the full rundown from Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.