Visitors Miami Heat faced their third consecutive loss on Sunday night as the Portland Trail Blazers won 115-109 owing to a 33 points contribution by Damian Lillard. Lillard also made eight assists.
The Trail Blazers recorded their seventh win in the last ten games as Lillard was supported by a 22 points effort by Gary Trent Jr. and 21 points from 34-year-old Trevor Ariza. Carmelo Anthony and CJ McCollum scored 15 points and 13 points respectively while Hassan Whiteside made 11 points along with 17 rebounds.
A third straight loss for Miami
Goran Dragic had 27 points and seven assists off the bench for the Heat, who lost a season-worst third straight game. Duncan Robinson scored 19 points, Jae Crowder had 18 points and 11 rebounds in his team debut, Bam Adebayo added 13 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists, and Derrick Jones Jr. scored 11 points.
Andre Iguodala had two points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench in his debut with the Heat. Iguodala and Crowder were acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies before Thursday's trading deadline.
Miami All-Star Jimmy Butler (shoulder injury) missed his second straight game. Robinson made six 3-pointers, and Dragic and Crowder hit five apiece as the Heat went 20 of 49 from behind the arc but shot 39.8 percent overall from the field.
Portland holds on to lead
Portland shot 47.1 percent from the field and was 19 of 42 from 3-point range. Lillard made six 3-pointers while scoring 20 or more points for the 19th straight game, and Trent hit five 3-pointers. Miami got a 3-pointer from Dragic and a layup from Abebayo to pull to 111-108 with 46.5 seconds left. Lillard hit a layup with 25.6 seconds remaining to make it a five-point margin.
Robinson, Dragic and Robinson, again missed 3-pointers on the Heat's next possession. Whiteside was fouled and hit both free throws to make it 115-108 with 11.5 seconds as the Trail Blazers closed it out.
Portland held a three-point halftime lead, but Trent's 3-pointer pushed the advantage to 89-75 with 2:42 left in the third quarter. The Heat scored the next eight points before the Trail Blazers scored the final four to take a 93-83 advantage into the final quarter. Ariza was 7 of 8 shooting in the first half to help the Trail Blazers hold a 63-60 lead at the break.
(With inputs from agencies)