Portland (4-5) at Miami (6-4)

Cloudy Currently: Miami, FL
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Wed Nov 23, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Dwyane Wade has done an admirable job leading the Miami Heat without Shaquille O’Neal.

Wade and the Heat will have to go at least another week without their All-Star center in the lineup as they begin a two-game homestand against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Miami has lost its last four matchups in South Florida against the Blazers by an average of 10.2 points per game.

Miami is 5-3 since O’Neal went down with a sprained ankle against Indiana on Nov. 3. Since then, Wade has taken over, averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 assists and 7.2 rebounds while leading the Heat to a 4-1 mark in their last five games.

Wade has failed to reach 20 points in a game only once this season and has scored at least 30 in his last two.

Also helping out in O’Neal’s absence is veteran center Alonzo Mourning. In his last eight games. Mourning has pulled down 8.8 rebounds and blocking four shots a game.

Miami, however, is coming a loss. Wade had 33 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a 107-94 setback to the previously winless Toronto Raptors.

“They wanted to win a lot more than we did,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. “They had a lot more resolve to try to get the job done down the stretch and we were hoping we would win, we were hoping some shots went in but we didn’t dig down and make any possession tough on them at the end.”

Portland, playing the second game of a six-game road trip, defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 95-87 on Tuesday.

Zach Randolph had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Darius Miles added 22 points to lead Portland to its first road win of the season.

“Zach will get 20 points and 10 rebounds every night, so we’re not worried about Zach or Darius,” reserve guard Juan Dixon said.

Dating back to Jan. 12, Portland has dropped 24 of its last 27 on the road.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 22): Trail Blazers - 3rd place (tied), 1 1/2 GB, Northwest Division. Heat - 1st place, Southeast Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Trail Blazers - F Miles, F Randolph, C Joel Przybilla, G Sergei Monia, G Sebastian Telfair. Heat - F James Posey, F Udonis Haslem, C Mourning, G Wade, G Gary Payton.

TEAM LEADERS: Trail Blazers - Miles, 19.4 ppg; Randolph, 10.4 rpg; Telfair, 4.2 apg. Heat - Wade, 26.1 ppg and 8 apg; Haslem, 8.4 rpg.

2004-2005 SEASON SERIES: tied, 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 7; Trail 99-87. At Portland, Ore., Randolph had 24 points and Derek Anderson added 19 to lead them over Miami. Wade and O’Neal combined for 36 points for the Heat, with Wade dishing out a game-high nine assists and O’Neal grabbing a game-best 13 rebounds.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Trail Blazers - 1-3 on the road; Heat - 5-1 at home.

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