Heat evaporates in stunning loss to Trail Blazers



AGENCIES

Published — Saturday 12 January 2013

Last update 12 January 2013 3:10 am

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PORTLAND, Oregon: Guard Wesley Matthews buried successive three-pointers to cap a stunning late rally as the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the NBA champion Miami Heat with a tense 92-90 win on Thursday night.
Trailing 80-68 with just over eight minutes left, Portland finished with a rousing 24-10 run to record their fourth straight win, and their ninth in a row at home, to improve to 20-15 for the season.
Matthews’ heroics put Portland ahead 91-90 and a LaMarcus Aldridge free throw then made it 92-90 with 10.4 seconds remaining.
Guard Mario Chalmers missed a late three-point attempt as the Heat fell to their fifth defeat in their last eight games for an overall record of 23-11.
Nicolas Batum led the way for the Trail Blazers with 28 points, forward LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 20 points and 15 rebounds while Matthews finished with 18 points on seven-of-18 shooting.
Though Chris Bosh scored a game-high 29 points for Miami and Dwyane Wade weighed in with 18, the visitors paid the price after being outscored 29-22 in the final quarter.
Portland began brightly but LeBron James poured in a three-pointer to give slow-starting Miami a 21-18 lead after a closely contested opening quarter.
With the “Big Three” of James, Bosh and Wade all getting into double figures, the Heat upped the tempo and padded their advantage to 52-39 half time.
Portland ended the third quarter on a 14-7 run to cut Miami’s lead to 68-63 but the Heat appeared to have the game in control midway through the fourth before the home team took over in spectacular fashion.
Pacers 81, Knicks 76: At Indianapolis, Paul George scored seven points in a 13-0 fourth-quarter run and finished with 24, leading Indiana past short-handed New York.
The Pacers have won 12 of 15, including a sweep of the other two Eastern Conference division leaders — Miami and the Knicks — this week.
New York was led by J.R. Smith with 25 points on a night they clearly missed Carmelo Anthony, who was suspended for Monday’s postgame confrontation with Boston’s Kevin Garnett. Without Anthony, the Knicks fell nine points below their previous season-low point total (85).
New York rallied from a 49-38 third-quarter deficit and started the fourth with a 60-58 lead.
Mavericks 117, Kings 112, OT: At Sacramento, California, O.J. Mayo had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Vince Carter scored 23 points off the bench and Dallas rallied from 17 points down to beat Sacramento in overtime.
Shawn Marion added 19 points and 10 rebounds to help the Mavericks snap a four-game losing streak. Dallas, which had lost 10 of 11, finished its short road trip 1-2.
With the franchise’s possible sale and relocation to Seattle on the minds of Kings fans, DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and nine rebounds before getting ejected in overtime for elbowing Carter in the face. Tyreke Evans scored 20 points and Isaiah Thomas had 18 points for the Kings, who lost their third straight game.

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