Miami Heat at Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Miami Heat will travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. This is the second of two meetings between the Blazers and Heat this season, and in the first, Miami beat Portland 120-111 in Miami on Oct. 27. The Heat won the last meeting between these two squads 120-111 on Oct. 27. Goran Dragic led the way with 28 points.
The Blazers currently have a 5-game winning streak at Moda Center.
Portland is 32-20 and currently sit fourth in the Western Conference standings. They are coming off a five-day break from games but will now play a two-game homestand that includes matchups against the Heat and San Antonio Spurs. The Blazers have just five games left before the All-Star break and are currently playing their best basketball of the season. They’ve won three in a row and 12 of their last 16 games.
Miami is 24-27 and currently stand as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Tonight, in Portland, will mark game one of their five-game West Coast road trip. Miami lost Saturday to Indiana 95-88, marking their third straight loss, and fourth straight loss at home. Maybe a trip to the West Coast is what this team needs to catch a spark.
Time: 10:00pm ET
Arena: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
The Miami Heat last played Saturday at home where they lost 95-88 to the Indiana Pacers. In that game, the Pacers were able to capitalize on Miami turnovers in a big way. Indiana turned 24 Miami Heat turnovers into 31 points, and the Heat only saw 14 of their giveaways go for only seven points. So, Indiana was able to win despite scoring only 11 points in the fourth, because it held the Heat to exactly 11 in the fourth as well.
Even their coach Erik Spoelstra agreed saying, “That was pretty ugly in the fourth quarter for both teams, and they were just able to hold on.”
As for the Heat players, Dwyane Wade was able to put up 21 points, Hassan Whiteside added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Josh Richardson and Kelly Olynyk each scored 14 points. If Miami wants to get this road trip started on the right foot, then they will need to clean up the turnovers, that plagued them Saturday against Miami.
Over the last ten games for Miami, Richardson is first on the Heat averaging 17.3 points and adding 3.7 rebounds, while Whiteside has averaged 12 rebounds and added 12.7 points per game. Goran Dragic will be out tonight with a knee, and Derrick Jones Jr will be out with right knee bone bruises.
Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup
The Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 132-105 Wednesday night home. Jusuf Nurkic did not play due to right knee soreness. The Blazers have won eight in a row at home and are 22-7 overall at the Moda Center this season. Coach Terry Stotts said he’s not sure if Rodney Hood, acquired by the Blazers in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, will make his Portland debut against the Heat. Hood was scheduled to land in Portland Monday afternoon. Nurkic will be questionable tonight.
The Blazers finished with 28 assists in the win over the Jazz and are 17-3 this season when they have at least 25 assists. Over their last 11 games, the Blazers rank third in the NBA in scoring, third in field goal shooting, fifth in three-point shooting, and have scored 120 or more points seven times during the stretch. Portland went 11-4 in January and joined Boston and Milwaukee as the only teams to finish the month ranked in the top 10 in offensive rating and defensive rating.
Portland is third in the league with 36.7 defensive rebounds per game, led by Jusuf Nurkic who is averaging 7 a game. Damian Lillard has averaged 26.4 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, while Evan Turner has averaged 3.9 assists and scored 7.7 points over the last 10 games.
Miami Heat at Portland Trail Blazers Betting Odds
The Trail Blazers are favored by 7.5 points to win at home tonight and extend their winning streak to 6 games. The over/under is 213 points and San Antonio is -305 on the money line after opening at -312.
Against the spread, the Portland is 29-23 and the Heat are 26-25. Portland is 22-7 at home and 24-6 as a favorite, while the Heat are 13-11 on the road and 11-12 as the underdog.
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