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Short-Handed Heat Fall Short Against Blazers, 125-122



MIAMI — Damian Lillard made three free throws with one second remaining for the final margin, and the Portland Trail Blazers survived a wild finish to beat the short-handed Miami Heat 125-122 on Thursday night.

Lillard was fouled by Miami’s Trevor Ariza on a 3-point attempt, which the Heat argued to no avail. Miami didn’t have a time-out remaining and never got a desperation tying shot off, after its inbounds pass was deflected away.

CJ McCollum had 21 of his 35 points in the first quarter for Portland, which got 22 points from Lillard, 20 points from Carmelo Anthony and 18 points to go along with 16 rebounds from Enes Kanter.

Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro each had 29 points for Miami, which dropped its fifth straight and fell to 22-23. Kendrick Nunn scored 22 for the Heat.

A combination of trades, illness, injury and virus-related issues left the Heat with nine players for the game.

Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica have yet to join the club after being acquired earlier Thursday in moves that sent Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley to Houston, plus Chris Silva and Moe Harkless to Sacramento. The other Heat absences: Jimmy Butler was sick, Goran Dragic has a back issue and Udonis Haslem and KZ Okpala remain in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Portland took a 100-99 lead with 7:57 left on a 3-pointer by Anthony. To that point, neither team had been up by more than eight all night.

Miami then went on an 11-0 run to take a 110-100 lead, with Gabe Vincent, Andre Iguodala and Herro all making 3-pointers on consecutive possessions and Herro adding a pair of free throws to cap the spurt.

Portland answered with an 11-0 run of its own, taking the lead back on a layup by Lillard with 3:48 left.

Back and forth they went the rest of the way, with some team either taking the lead or pulling into a tie eight times in the final 1:44.


Trail Blazers: McCollum now has five quarters with at least 21 points in his career, including a 28-point first quarter against Chicago in 2018. The NBA-high for a first quarter this season is 22 by Denver’s Nikola Jokic vs. Utah on Jan. 31. … Former Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr., who started for Portland, spent a few minutes at halftime greeting staff in the Miami bench area.

Heat: Miami went 0-4 on its homestand, the first time it was winless on a homestand of that length since 2008. … The Heat used their 19th starting lineup of the season. … Duncan Robinson scored 12 for Miami.


Anthony broke his tie with Dirk Nowitzki and moved into outright possession of fourth place on the all-time opponent regular-season scoring list at AmericanAirlines Arena. He has 463 points, trailing only Paul Pierce (599), LeBron James (569) and Vince Carter (561). Nowitzki had 443.


Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic announced on Twitter earlier Thursday that he was cleared to resume game play Friday in Orlando. He missed 32 games with a broken right wrist and will be on a minutes restriction Friday.


Trail Blazers: Visit Orlando on Friday.

Heat: Visit Charlotte on Friday.


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