Miami (7-7) at Portland (9-6)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Portland, OR
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Wed Nov 26, 2008
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As a starter or a reserve, Greg Oden is having trouble making an impact for the Portland Trail Blazers.

After a lackluster performance in his first start at home, Oden looks to avenge a poor showing against the Miami Heat two weeks ago when the teams meet Wednesday night.

Oden made his return to the starting lineup for the first time since Portland’s season opener, but finished with three points and four turnovers in 19 ineffective minutes as the Blazers (9-6) beat Sacramento 91-90 at home on Monday night.

The Kings had some of their best stretches on offense when Oden - the first pick of the 2007 NBA draft - was on the floor in the second half.

“I want him to be more aggressive, making the calls on the pick and roll and dominating the paint,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “We have to learn from this.”

The 7-foot center started in the Blazers’ season opener, and was held scoreless in 12 minutes before injuring his foot in a 96-76 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Oden missed the next six games and struggled off the bench in his first game back. He had three points, two rebounds and two turnovers in 16 minutes as Portland won 104-96 in Miami on Nov. 12.

Oden then averaged 14.3 points and 9.7 rebounds off the bench in his next four games, but has been held under 10 points in each of his last three contests.

Playing his first season after sitting out last year because of microfracture surgery on his knee, Oden will now match up with undersized Heat center Udonis Haslem.

Haslem, who is 6-foot-8, had a tough time Monday night against 7-6 Yao Ming, who had 28 points and 12 rebounds as Miami (7-7) lost 107-98 to Houston.

The Heat lost despite getting 23 points from star guard Dwyane Wade, who is averaging 33.7 in his last three games. Wade had one of his best games of the season against Portland, finishing with 36 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Wade has topped the 30-point mark in five of his last six games versus the Blazers. He’ll be contending with Portland’s Brandon Roy in a matchup of two of the NBA’s top young shooting guards.

Roy scored a season-high 28 points against Sacramento after scoring 26 in a 102-92 loss at Phoenix two days earlier. He had 22 points and five rebounds in this season’s first matchup with the Heat.

Miami forward Shawn Marion missed that game due to a left groin strain, and he’ll miss this contest to attend a family funeral in Arkansas on Wednesday afternoon. He said even a private flight wouldn’t get him to Portland in time.

Heat swingman Yakhouba Diawara, who had a season-high 12 points against the Rockets, may be in line to start for Marion.

Miami, beginning a five-game western trip, has alternated wins and losses in its last 10 games. The Heat are 2-4 on the road.

At 5-0, Portland is the only team in the Western Conference that is still undefeated at home. Cleveland has won all seven of its home contests.

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Wednesday, Nov 26