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Trail Blazers 99, Heat 83

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points and hauled in 12 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to overwhelm the Miami Heat 99-83 Thursday night at the Moda Center.

Guard Wesley Matthews added 18 points for the Trail Blazers, who outscored the Heat 56-35 in the second half. Portland (28-8) won for the sixth time in seven outings.

Guard Dwyane Wade led Miami (15-21) with 23 points and seven rebounds. Forward Chris Bosh added 18 points, five rebounds and five assists for the losers, who shot only 37.7 percent from the field, including 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from the 3-point arc.

Wade’s 15 points propelled Miami into a 48-43 halftime lead. Aldridge led Portland, which shot 38.8 percent for the half, with 12 points at the break.

The Blazers took the initiative at the onset of the third quarter, center Chris Kaman scoring three straight baskets to key a 17-3 run for a 60-51 advantage. Portland increased the difference to 71-59 on guard Steve Blake’s 3-pointer with 1:15 left in the quarter.

Forward Dorell Wright’s fadeaway jumper at the buzzer gave the Blazers a 76-64 lead going into the final period.

Matthews and guard Allen Crabbe knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers for an 84-69 advantage. The Blazers increased the difference to 97-74 on another Matthews 3-pointer with 5:20 to play, and it was on to garbage time.

With Wade scoring nine first-quarter points, Miami carried a 23-18 lead into the second period. With center Hassan Whiteside — who finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in 19 minutes — providing a lift off the bench, the Heat extended the advantage to 43-33.

Portland used a 6-0 run to slice the margin to 43-39, and Miami went into intermission with a five-point edge.

NOTES: Portland coach Terry Stotts, with a quip about GM Neil Olshey’s contract extension: “It’s certainly deserving. He’s done a tremendous job for the franchise at every step along the way — free agency, draft, hiring a coach.” … Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said the shooting range of Blazers G Damian Lillard and F LaMarcus Aldridge make it more difficult for the opposition. “You try to get up into them and make them uncomfortable as much as possible,” Spoelstra said, “but you’re doing it two or three steps out further than you’re used to doing.” … With 36-year-old Chris “Birdman” Andersen starting for the Heat, Spoelstra said he is mindful of keeping the 13-year veteran’s minutes down. “I like to keep him in the wheelhouse I have him, but once you start him, it gets to be more of a challenge,” Spoelstra said. Andersen scored five points in 24 minutes Thursday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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