Heat Check: LeBron bullies through Blazers as Miami gets much-needed win
MIAMI — The struggling Miami Heat returned home Monday night and got a much-needed victory … barely.
LeBron James’ go-ahead drive with 11.4 seconds left was followed by Chris Bosh’s block of a Damian Lillard layup attempt to give the Heat a 93-91 win against the Portland Trail Blazers at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat escaped after blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead.
James had 32 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals to lead Miami, which entered the game having lost seven of 11.
The Heat (48-21), who will visit Eastern Conference leader Indiana on Wednesday night, moved to two games behind the Pacers, who lost to Chicago.
Chris Andersen had 13 points and 11 rebounds in 23:15 off the bench for his first double-double as a member of the Heat.
Dwyane Wade missed his 19th game of the season, but this time it was due to a sprained ankle and not to rest this knees. The Heat improved to 12-7 this season without the All-Star guard.
Center Greg Oden started against the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2007. He finished with four points and three rebounds in 15:13.
Lillard scored 19 points to lead five double-figure scorers for the Trail Blazers (45-26), who were without big man LaMarcus Aldridge (back) for the sixth straight game. Portland shot 11 of 39 from 3-point range.
James had 17 points to help Miami build a 46-42 halftime edge. LeBron hit 7 of 15, which included 5 dunks.
THE TURNING POINT
Miami went on an 11-3 run early in the third quarter to open a 59-48 cushion with 7:21 left in the period. That appeared to be the key drive … until James’ with 11.4 seconds left.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
James, whose driving and dunking help Miami hold a 52-26 points advantage in the paint.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Heat took better care for the basketball committed just 10 turnovers, leading to 11 Portland points. Five of those TOs were in the fourth quarter.
The Heat will play at Indiana at 8 p.m. Wednesday.