Trail Blazers 92, Heat 90By Kerry Eggers, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Jan 11, 2013 1:40 AM EST
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wesley Matthews' back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute lifted the Portland Trail Blazers to a come-from-behind, 92-90 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday night at the Rose Garden. Portland (20-15) earned its 12th win in 15 games and its ninth consecutive home victory. The Blazers trailed by 12 points early in the fourth quarter before mounting a rally. Nicolas Batum collected 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Blazers, who also got 20 points and 15 boards from LaMarcus Aldridge. Matthews finished with 18 points. Chris Bosh scored 29 points and LeBron James had 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Miami, which lost for the fifth time in its past eight games. Down by 13 points at intermission, Portland rallied within 68-63 after a defensive-minded third quarter. The Blazers outscored the Heat 24-16 in the period. Miami (23-11) answered with a 12-5 run to start the fourth quarter to go in front 80-68. Portland's response was emphatic -- a 14-2 surge. Batum's three-point play after a steal tied the count at 82-82 with 4:03 remaining. Ray Allen buried a 3-pointer to give Miami an 85-82 lead. Batum's two free throws closed the gap to 85-84 with 2:39 left. Bosh's jumper from the top of the key upped the Heat's lead to 87-84 with 1:53 to go. Aldridge sank one of two at the line to make it 87-85 with 1:36 to play before Allen made one of two to push the margin to 88-85 with 1:05 on the clock. Matthews knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the score at 88-88 with 58 seconds left, but Bosh's dunk put Miami on top again at 90-88 with 47 seconds to go. Matthews' step-back 3-pointer with 26.7 seconds left put Portland in front 91-90, and after Allen missed a wide-open 3-point attempt at the other end, Aldridge rebounded and was fouled with 10.4 seconds remaining. Portland's all-star power forward missed the first attempt, then made the second, and it was 92-90 with 10.4 seconds left. Mario Chalmers' wide-open 3-point try bounced away at the buzzer, and the game was Portland's. Miami rode a 31-point second quarter to jump on top 52-39 at halftime. Dwyane Wade (14), Bosh (14) and James (12) combined for 40 of the Heat's first-half points. Portland shot only .333 from the field and had nine turnovers in the half. Batum was 4-for-6 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, and had 14 first-half points. The rest of the Blazers combined to make 10 of 36 shots before the break. NOTES: James had only 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting after three quarters. ... Miami reserve forward Shane Battier sat out the game due to a sore hamstring. Coach Erik Spoelstra doesn't think the injury will keep the 11-year veteran out of action long. ... Portland rookie center Meyers Leonard missed his sixth straight game with a sprained ankle. "He's still pretty tender," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "It will be two weeks on Saturday, and he's not close to coming back." ... Miami has the Eastern Conference's best record at 23-10, but Spoelstra is less than pleased with the Heat's road mark, which fell to 7-8. "It's about our identity, which we haven't been able to get to consistently on the road," Spoelstra said. ... Stotts missed practice Wednesday but looked chipper and healthy as he met with reporters pregame. "Feeling much better," he said. "It was a 24-hour bug. Wasn't pretty."
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