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Hot Heat hand Trail Blazers second consecutive loss

03/01/12
  1. Written by: KevinHudson


    The Portland Trail Blazers lost 107-93 to the Miami Heat Thursday, in front of 20,597 at the Rose Garden, in the team's second consecutive loss since coming off the All-Star break.

    In what is becoming an all-too-familiar pattern for Portland, the Trail Blazers gave up a big offensive first half to their opponents, fell behind by a wide margin, then came back in the fourth quarter only to come up just short of a miraculous comeback.

    Thursday it was 60 points from the Heat in the first half - 32 in the first quarter - and a lead that ballooned to 25 points in the third quarter before the Trail Blazers whittled it down to 10 points late, then settled for the final margin.

    "That team is a good team. They came out aggressive as we thought they would and sometimes they try to take your heart right from the start and sometimes teams, they fold the tent. I didn’t think our guys did that tonight. They kept scrapping," said Portland coach Nate McMillan.

    Portland (18-18) was led by LaMarcus Aldridge with 20 points and six rebounds. It was Aldridge's 23rd 20-point outing of the season and he tied Kevin Duckworth for fifth all-time on Portland's offensive rebounding list in the loss.

    "We came out to a really good start and they just picked up momentum and they kept building off of it," Aldridge said. "They played really good team defense tonight. They shut down the paint."

    Joel Przybilla made his return to the Rose Garden in the game (activated early due to Kurt Thomas' concussion Wednesday at Denver) and grabbed six rebounds while scoring four points and blocking two shots in 19 minutes of action.

    "I thought he did some good things, things that we need at that five position – setting screens, clogging the paint, he rotated over, had a couple blocked shots, he forced guys to alter their shot a couple times," McMillan said of Przybilla's performance. "I thought he did a nice job."

    Miami (28-7) were led by LeBron James with 38 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Dwyane Wade with 33 points and 10 assists. Miami was led by Udonis Haslem with 14 rebounds, six offensive, as the Heat outrebounded the Trail Blazers 41-36.

    "They've got two great players over there – LeBron and Dwyane were on top of their game tonight," McMillan said. "I thought our guys really worked hard to try to force those guys to shoot the ball over the top. They did that, but they made them."

    Five total Trail Blazers scored in double figures in the contest, led by Aldridge and followed by Jamal Crawford with 18 points, four assists and Nicolas Batum with 17 points, five rebounds.

    Wesley Matthews led Portland's reserves with 15 points and seven rebounds while Gerald Wallace added 12 points.

    Portland hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday, 7 p.m., at the Rose Garden. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet and nationally on NBA TV. 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.

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