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Homestand Ends With Another Injury, Loss To Heat

PORTLAND -- The Trail Blazers ended what would be a winless month of February with a 106-96 loss to the Miami Heat in front of a crowd of 18,143 Tuesday night at Moda Center.

Portland is now 15-42 overall and 9-20 at home this season. The Trail Blazers have now lost nine-straight and 12 of their last 15.

“I think we fought,” said Toumani Camara. “I think we made a little bit of mistakes, (Ayton) was injured, a bunch of small stuff that I think we could control on the court, that we could do a better job of. But I think overall it was a good game for us, I think we all played really hard. The objective that we wanted today is to make sure we played aggressive, boxed them out and I feel like we did all that throughout the whole game.”

Chauncey Billups Postgame Interview | Portland Trail Blazers 96, Miami Heat 106

It looked as if the Blazers might get their first win in their final game of the month after they scored the first eight points of the contest and led by as many as 15 in the first quarter. The Heat would eventually find their rhythm playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but even then, the Trail Blazers still managed to take a 10-point lead into the intermission.

But after posting a double-double in the first half, center Deandre Ayton sat out the entire second half with a right hand sprain. And while the good news is that x-rays taken after the game came back negative, the bad news is the Blazers couldn’t hold off the Heat in the second half down yet another starter.

“We was playing well in the first half, we were doing what we were supposed to,” said Jerami Grant. “A few mental lapses, in the second (half) especially, but losing DA was really tough for us. He’s been playing amazing as of late, we really missed him tonight.”

With Ayton joining the likes of Malcolm Brodgon, Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson on the bench, the Blazers were outscored 60-40 in the second half, resulting in a 10-point loss.

Jerami Grant led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, 3-of-5 shooting from three and 7-of-8 shooting from the line to go with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in 40 minutes.

Toumani Camara Postgame Interview | Portland Trail Blazers 96, Miami Heat 106

Anfernee Simons went 10-of-26 for 26 points, four assists and a rebound in 40 minutes. Ayton finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 18 first-half minutes.

Toumani Camara had one of the best games of his rookie campaign, posting 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 shooting from three, 10 rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes.

Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 22 points and nine assists.

Next up, the Trail Blazers head out on the road for three games starting with a back-to-back series versus the Grizzlies in Memphis. Tipoff for the first game is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m.