Miami Heat vs. Portland Trail Blazers Game Recap: Ice-Cold Down the Stretch

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(Portland, OR) – Despite an impressive start to the game as well as a highly-competitive second half, the Miami Heat (7-13) had their three-game road winning streak snapped on Saturday night when they fell to the Portland Trail Blazers (11-10) by a score of 99-92 at Moda Center.

The Heat led by as many as 12 points on three different occasions during the first quarter, but their hot start clearly was not enough for them to get the victory.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside had another magnificent game, as the rising star racked up another double-double en route to a game-high 28 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots on the night.

“We want to get above .500, you know, we don’t want to get down,” Whiteside said after the game. “There’s too many games. Guys are not getting down on themselves, neither. There’s a lot of season left and guys are still learning how to play with each other.”

Despite Whiteside’s optimism, Miami simply could not stop the duo of Blazers two-time All-Star point guard Damian Lillard and starting shooting guard C.J. McCollum. Lillard led the way with 19 points, six assists and four boards, while McCollum added 17 points (7-of-18 from the field) with four assists and four boards.

Point guard Goran Dragic almost captured himself a triple-double with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while power forward Josh McRoberts and shooting guard Wayne Ellington had 13 and 12 points respectively for the Heat.

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“I think when you have opportunities under adversities, those are your biggest opportunities for growth,” said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “But this process has been happening, so even two weeks ago while we were losing games, we were building some toughness. You could feel it and guys were gaining confidence from it.”

As of late, Miami continues to be completely devastated by injuries. On Saturday night, the Heat were without starting small forward Justise Winslow (wrist), starting shooting guard Dion Waiters (groin), guard Josh Richardson (ankle) and forward Luke Babbitt (hip).

Up next, the Heat will head home to take on the New York Knicks (10-9) at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night. The contest, which is scheduled to tip off shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, will be broadcast live locally on Fox Sports Sun.
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Andrew Salmi is a recent graduate of California State University, Fullerton after he previously attended Arizona State University. He is proud to be a staff writer for Heat Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewsalmi.