[Portland, OR] Coming off of the All-Star break, the Miami Heat wanted to get back to their winning ways against their first opponent of the second half of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers.
It wasn’t a “clean break” for the boys as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade still made headlines during the All-Star celebration, which took place three-and-a-half hours to the North in Orlando. LeBron was once again criticized for his play in the fourth quarter, this time because he didn’t take the final shot.
Now for the business at hand … In the first quarter, the Blazers are the ones who started off playing great basketball, going on a 14-6 run off of scoring from LaMarcus Aldridge. But, Wade, James and the Heat would not go quietly – they came roaring back, with the star duo combining to score 24 points in the quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, the Miami Heat were up 32-24.
Wade took over in the second quarter, scoring 12 points and dishing out 2 assists. The Heat also buckled down on defense, keeping Portland from getting buckets while continuing to score at the other end. The Miami Heat outscored the Blazers 28-18 in quarter number two.
At halftime, the Heat were up 60-42.
Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat drives to the basket
It got even better for the Heat and much, much worse for the Blazers in the third. James caught fire, scoring 12 points and dishing out 2 assists. The Trail Blazers kept trying to make a comeback, but they just could not keep up with the Heat offense or defense. At the end of the third quarter, the Heat were up 87-69.
The fourth quarter continued with the same storyline: Portland tried to mount a charge, but the play of the Heat on both ends of the court kept them from getting anything going. James, D-Wade and the Miami Heat bench were just too much for the Trail Blazers.
The final score was Heat 107, Blazers 93.
“We were missing 8½ to 9 rebounds a game, so I just tried to make a conscious effort to get on the boards early and just sustain it throughout the game,” said Udonis Haslem, who pulled down six rebounds off the offensive glass.
“When we’ve played without [Bosh] in the past, we really struggled,” Spoelstra said. “I think this game showed we made some strides in that area and our versatility helps.”
Next up for the Miami Heat: Tonight (March 2) against the Jazz in Utah.
By: Michael Tristani II/Sunshine Slate
Images: Cameron Browne/NBAE/Getty Images (Copyright 2012 NBAE)