Blazers Look To Rekindle Road Success Versus Heat In Miami

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers (13-13) haven’t won a game in over two weeks, and the last time they did, it was on the road versus an Eastern Conference opponent.

Given that fact, perhaps the Trail Blazers have reason to be optimistic about their chances of ending a five-game losing streak Wednesday night when they face the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena in the second game of a five-game road trip. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The Trail Blazers enter Wednesday’s contest after losing 111-104 to the Golden State Warriors Monday night at Oracle Arena. Portland trailed by as many as 24 points in the second half before a 17-4 run in the fourth quarter got the game to within single digits in the fourth quarter.

"We got in a position where we could strike and we could win the game," said Damian Lillard, who scored a game-high 39 points. "But I think when you put yourself in a hole and you’ve got to work so hard to dig out of it, with a team that runs the way they do, has many shooters and they play great offense like they do, you’re not giving yourself a great chance."

In the end, Portland's rally would fall short thanks mostly to Kevin Durant (28 points, nine rebounds) and Klay Thompson (24 points), though Golden State had six players finish in double figures even with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green sitting out with various minor injuries.

The Trail Blazers didn't have their full complement of players either, as both Jusuf Nurkić (right ankle sprain) and Maurice Harkless (left quad contusion) sat out their second-straight game. Both players have been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday's game in Miami.

While Portland might be getting some of their main contributors back, the Heat (13-13) will once again be without center Hassan Whiteside, who has missed seventh game with a bone bruise in his left knee. Even with Whiteside sidelined, the Heat have managed to win their last two games, both on the road, versus the Grizzlies and Nets.

Wednesday night's game will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. The Trail Blazers have won three-straight and four of their last six versus the Heat after sweeping the season series in 2016-17.

Wednesday night's game can be seen on NBC Sports NW with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.