League-Leading Win Streak On The Line Versus Heat

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

The Portland Trail Blazers will attempt to keep their league-leading win streak alive Monday night when they host the Miami Heat for a nationally-televised game at the Moda Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Portland is currently riding a nine-game winning streak, their longest undefeated run since 2013, after besting the Golden State Warriors, the team they started their win streak by beating, 125-108 Friday night at the Moda Center.

“A good win against a quality team," said Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who finished the win with 28 points, eight assists and four rebounds in 37 minutes. "I think we had a really solid first half. We know they take over games and dominate third quarters and they came out and made a run for it and I really liked how we weathered that storm. They did what they always do but we kept fighting, we fought it and we still ended the third quarter with the lead and then back and forth fourth quarter, we made the plays, we got the stops and we did more to win the game."

With the win, the Trail Blazers moved two games ahead of the Pelicans, Timberwolves and Thunder for third-place in the Western Conference with 16 games to play.

“I think we’re all very much aware of what the standings are and there’s not a team in that group 3-10 that has the luxury to get too excited about anything one way or the other," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "All eight of those teams are battling and there’s not a lot of room to breathe."

Which brings an added significance to every game, including Monday's versus the Heat. Buoyed by the return of Dwyane Wade, Miami has won six of their last eight and are seventh in the East after dispatching the Wizards 129-102 Saturday night.

But Wade suffered a hamstring injury in the victory and will not play Monday night in Portland. Same goes for Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) and Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). The Trail Blazers have no injuries to report.

Monday night's game is the second and final game between the two teams this season, with the Trail Blazers taking the first meetings 102-95 in Miami on December 13. Portland has won four straight versus Miami.

Monday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. The game will also broadcast nationally on ESPN. Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the radio call on Rip City Radio 620 AM.