Miami Heat snuff out Portland Trail Blazers, 104-92
Anfernee Simons and CJ McCollum combined for 47 points on 17-of-31 shooting and 10 3-pointers through three quarters Wednesday at Miami. And, Portland led.
The fourth quarter? Well, that was a different story.
The Heat (29-16), challenging for the top spot in the NBA Eastern Conference, cranked up the defense, deflecting passes and not allowing good looks at the basket, and ran away with a 104-92 win. Portland had won two games in a row on their six-game road trip, and four of five overall.
And, the Blazers (18-26) looked good through three quarters led by their guards.
But, Miami outscored Portland 26-12 in the fourth quarter. Simons and McCollum had only two points each and finished with 27 and 24 points, respectively.
Jusuf Nurkic added 18 points and 14 rebounds. Robert Covington had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Blazers shot .413 (.304 3-pointers, 14 of 46).
Caleb Martin, from Nevada and one of a handful of undrafted Miami players, scored 26 points. He was 8 of 12 from the field (3 of 3 3-pointers) and 7 of 7 from the free-throw line. Center Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Heat played without point guard Kyle Lowry, and star guard Jimmy Butler was ejected in the first half after picking up two technicals while arguing with officials.
Portland's Nassir Little didn't play in the second half because of a sore knee (hurt at Orlando).
The Blazers play at Boston at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The Celtics feature local connections Ime Udoka (head coach), Payton Pritchard (player), Damon Stoudamire (assistant coach) and Aaron Miles (assistant coach). The Celtics routed Portland 145-117 on Dec. 4 at Moda Center.
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