Trail Blazers burn Heat
PORTLAND – Guard Wesley Matthews buried successive three-pointers to cap a stunning late rally as the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the NBA champions Miami Heat with a tense 92-90 win last night at the Rose Garden.
Trailing 80-68 with just over eight minutes left, Portland finished with a rousing 24-10 run to record their fourth straight win and their ninth in a row at home, improving to 20-15 for the season.
Matthews’ heroics put Portland ahead 91-90 and a LaMarcus Aldridge free throw then made it 92-90 with 10.4 seconds remaining.
Guard Mario Chalmers missed a late three-point attempt as the Heat slipped to their fifth defeat in their last eight games†for an overall record of 23-11.
Nicolas Batum led the way for the Trail†Blazers with 28 points, forward LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 20 points and 15 rebounds while Matthews finished with 18 points on seven-of-18 shooting.
Though Chris Bosh scored a game-high 29 points for Miami and Dwyane Wade weighed in with 18, the visitors paid the price after being outscored 29-22 in the final quarter.
LeBron James was restricted to 15 points on six-of-16 shooting, ending a run of 54 games including the playoffs with at least 20 points dating back to last season
Portland began the game brightly but James poured in a three-pointer to give slow-starting Miami a 21-18 lead after a closely contested opening quarter.
With the “Big Three” of James, Bosh and Wade all getting into double figures, the Heat upped the tempo and padded their advantage to 52-39 halftime.
Portland ended the third quarter on a 14-7 run to cut Miami’s lead to 68-63 but the Heat appeared to have the game in control midway through the fourth before the home team took over in spectacular fashion.
Other scores last night were: Mavericks 117, Kings 112; Knicks 76, Pacers 81.