Trail Blazers Stay Hot With 10th Straight Win Against the Heat
Portland Holds Longest Current Streak in the NBA
PORTLAND – The Trail Blazers extended the NBA’s longest active winning streak with their 10th straight victory, 115-99, Monday night against the Miami Heat before a sellout crowd of 19,786 at Moda Center. Portland’s 10 straight wins represent the team’s longest streak since they won 11 straight in November of 2013 games.
The current streak marks the 10th time in franchise history in which Portland has won at least 10 games in a row during a single season. The string of wins includes two victories against Golden State, and wins over division rivals Minnesota, Oklahoma City and Utah, all of whom are also fighting for playoff positioning.
Damian Lillard posted game highs of 32 points and 10 assists, while Jusuf Nurkic added 27 points, just two shy of a season mark, and a game-best 16 rebounds. His 12 field goals (on 18 attempts) matched a career best.
"(Nurkić) was huge," said Lillard. "That’s the Nurk that we need, just a beast, taking his time scoring on the block, making plays off the block, rebounding the ball, blocking shots. I think his presence was really felt on both ends of the floor."
The Trail Blazers are currently in front of Oklahoma City by two games for the Northwest Division lead and the third spot in the Western Conference.
Portland led by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter before Miami raced to within three at 93-90. But the Trail Blazers regained control from there, outscoring the Heat, 22-9, in the final 5:56 of the game.
“They made a run, we know that it’s a game of spurts," said Lillard. "They’re a playoff team so they’re going to keep making a run for it and they got some shots to fall, we turned the ball over a few times and allowed them to get out and get some easy ones. We had to regroup. Coach called a timeout and we just had to once again weather that storm, come out and get some good execution, plays had to be made."
The Trail Blazers improve to 41-26 on the season, as they continue to push their mark to its highest level of the season. Portland is 15 games above .500 for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Trail Blazers are also winners of 16 of their past 17 home games, boosting their Moda Center mark to 23-11.
"We just care about the next game and that’s how we approach," said Nurkić. "Every next game is going to be important for us and we’re not looking that far out. We’re in a great position and just trying to do every game to keep that spot."
• Damian Lillard finished with 32 points on 8-of-19 shooting to register his 12th straight game with at least 20 points, including eight games with 30 points or more. Lillard also added 10 assists for his eighth double-double of the season and five rebounds while finishing the game a +25.
• Jusuf Nurkić’s 27 points were his most since netting a season-high 29 points on Nov. 24 at Brooklyn. He grabbed 16 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season while tallying three blocks and three assists in 30 minutes. He is one of two players in frachise history to record at least 27 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks multiple times as a Trail Blazer.
• CJ McCollum (17 points), Evan Turner (13 points) and Zach Collins (10 points) also reached double figures for Portland. Collins has scored in double digits in consecutive games for the second time in his career.
• Goran Dragic led Miami with 23 points on 10-for-17 FG.
• The Trail Blazers won their 10th game in a row, extending the longest active winning streak in the NBA. It is Portland’s longest winning streak since the team won 11 straight from Nov. 8 - 25, 2013.
• Portland won its seventh straight home game, improving to 16-1 in the last 17 games at Moda Center.
• The Trail Blazers won their fifth consecutive game against the Heat and swept the season series for the second season in a row.
• Portland improved to 41-26, matching last season’s win total with 15 games left to play.
• The Trail Blazers held the Heat to 99 points, marking the fifth time in the last nine games that Portland held its opponent below 100 points.
• Portland shot 14-of-36 (38.9%) from the three-point line, while the Heat shot 10-of-31 (32.3%)from deep. It was the fifth straight game that the Trail Blazers made at least 10 three-pointers, matching their longest streak of the season.
• The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Heat, 50-46, and had six blocks to Miami’s four blocks.
"The advantage was that they gave a lot of attention to Dame and CJ and we did a nice job of finding (Nurkić) in the paint, and he did a great job of finishing.” -- Terry Stotts
THEY SAID IT
The Trail Blazers play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth game of their five-game homestand Thursday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip from Moda Center, with broadcast on NBC Sports Northwest and NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.