Heat evaporate in tight loss to Trail Blazers

Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:07am EST
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(Reuters) - 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.

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, improving 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 slipped 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.

"We got a lot of confidence and we are playing great at home right now," Williams told reporters after his step-back three-pointer with 26.9 seconds left put Portland a point in front.

"We are playing very well overall. We played against a great team ... and we knew they would make their run. We just got to stop the bleeding and we were able to do that."

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.

JAMES STREAK ENDS   Continued...

Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews (R) celebrates with teammates LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and Nicolas Batum (88) after defeating the Miami Heat in NBA basketball game in Portland, Oregon, January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola