Four-Game Trip Starts Thursday In Miami

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

Until noon, most of the focus around the NBA will be on the impending trade deadline. But after that deadline expires, it’s back to basketball.

The Portland Trail Blazers begin a four-game trip, three of which will be played in the state of Florida, with a nationally-televised tilt versus the Miami Heat Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 40-23
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 20-12
MIAMI HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 20-11
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 115-109, 2/9/20 (Portland)
LAST MIAMI WIN: 122-111, 1/5/20 (Miami)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: One (Portland)

SERIES NOTES

• Portland's March 25 game against Miami will be the first of two meetings between the Trail Blazers and Heat during the 2020-21 season. The final game will be played on April 11 at Moda Center.

LAST SEASON: The two squads split the season series in 2019-20, 1-1. The teams are an even 10-10 over the last 20 meetings, dating back to the 2009-10 season.

• Damian Lillard averaged 33.5 points (48.9% FG, 44.4% 3-PT, 84.6% FT), 10.0 assists and 2.00 steals in two games against Miami last season. The Heat were one of four teams Lillard averaged a double-double against last season.

• Gary Trent Jr. averaged 14.0 points (55.6% FG, 58.3% 3-PT, 100% FT), 2.0 rebounds and 2.00 steals in two games against the Heat last season. On Feb. 9, 2020 Trent recorded four steals against the Heat, tying his career-high.

• In his only game against Miami last season on Feb. 9, 2020, CJ McCollum recorded 13 points (5-15 FG, 3-9 3-PT), four rebounds and three assists. McCollum has hit three or more three-pointers in each of his last three games against the Heat.

• In two games against the Trail Blazers last season, Goran Dragic averaged 28.0 points (51.4% FG, 52.2% 3-PT, 85.7% FT), 3.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists. Portland was the only team Dragic averaged double-digit assists against in 2019-20. Dragic recorded a career-high 18 assists against Portland on Feb. 19, 2013 while with Phoenix.

• Bam Adebayo averaged 16.5 points (62.5% FG, 37.5% FT), 10.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.00 blocks in two games against Portland last season.

MILESTONE WATCH: CJ McCollum (499 career regular-season games) is one game from becoming the 14th player to appear in 500 games for the Trail Blazers. Kevin Duckworth is in 13th with 527.

CONNECTION: Trail Blazers forward Derrick Jones Jr. spent the majority of three seasons with the Heat from 2017-2020. Jones appeared in 133 games, starting in 38 and averaging 7.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists.

LAST THREE GAMES

Game #43 - Brooklyn 116, Portland 112 — March 23, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

James Harden tied a career-high in assists, and despite scoring 41 first quarter points Portland wasn't able to hold on against Brooklyn, falling 116-112 Tuesday at Moda Center ... Portland tied a season-high with seven players finishing in double-figures ... Damian Lillard led Portland with 22 points (5-17 FG, 3-14 3-PT, 9-9 FT), three rebounds and nine assists ... Enes Kanter recorded his 24th double-double of the season, finishing with 19 points (6-8 FG, 7-8 FT) and 19 rebounds in 40 minutes ... Robert Covington had 13 points (4-6 3-PT, 1-2 FT), nine boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks ... CJ McCollum added 16 points, five rebounds and four steals ... Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3-PT) and pulled down two rebounds ... James Harden led the Nets with 25 points (7-24 FG, 11-13 FT), and tied a career-high with 17 assists ... Jeff Green added 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting (2-6 3-PT, 4-5 FT), to go with four rebounds and one assist.

Game #42 - Dallas 132, Portland 92 — March 21, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

The Mavericks outscored the Trail Blazers by 23 points in the third period, and Portland fell to Dallas behind 37 points from Luka Doncic ... Portland's streak of consecutive games with 10+ three-pointers ended at 54, good for the third-longest streak in NBA history ... Damian Lillard finished with 19 points (7-16 FG, 5-5 FT), one rebounds and four assists ... Gary Trent Jr. added 16 points (6-13 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 1-2 FT), two rebounds and two steals ... CJ McCollum had 13 points (6-15 FG, 1-1 FT), two boards and one assist ... Nassir Little scored the third-most points in his career, finishing with 14 points (4-9 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 4-5 FT), two rebounds and one assist ... Robert Covvington contributed six points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals ... Luka Doncic led Dallas with 37 points (13-19 FG, 8-9 3-PT, 3-6 FT), seven rebounds and four assists ... Josh Richardson had 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting (2-4 3-PT, 3-3 FT), three rebounds and four assists.

Game #41 - Portland 125, Dallas 119 — March 19, 2021, Moda Center, Portland

Carmelo Anthony reached 27,000 career points and the Trail Blazers came up with another fourth quarter comeback, taking a 125-119 win over the Mavericks ... The Trail Blazers improved to 10-4 all-time when Lillard and McCollum go for at least 30 points apiece ... The Trail Blazers made at least 22 threes for the fourth time in team history ... CJ McCollum recorded his third-highest scoring game of the season, finishing with 32 points (11-23 FG, 7-13 3-PT, 3-3 FT), four rebounds and four assists ... Damian Lillard had 31 points (10-19 FG, 4-10 3-PT, 7-7 FT), three rebounds and six assists ... Carmelo Anthony added 18 points (6-11 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 3-4 FT) and four rebounds ... Robert Covington recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals ... Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 38 points (15-27 FG, 4-13 3-PT, 4-5 FT), nine rebounds and nine assists ... Tim Hardaway contributed 25 points (9-14 FG, 7-11 3-PT), five rebounds and five assists.

INJURY NOTES

Anfernee Simons (health & safety protocols) and Nassir Little (health & safety protocols) are available while Jusuf Nurkic (right calf strain) and Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) are out for Thursday's game at Miami.

As for the Heat, Gabe Vincent (right knee; soreness) is probable; Avery Bradley (right calf; strain) and Goran Dragic (lower back; spasms) are questionable; KZ Okpala (health and safety protocols) and Udonis Haslem (health and safety protocols) are out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Thursday’s game can be seen nationally on TNT and locally on NBC Sports NW. The game can be heard on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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