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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 28th (All times Eastern)

Miami Heat (22-7) at Portland Trail Blazers (24-5), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the NBA's best do battle Saturday night when the two-time defending champion Miami Heat head to the Moda Center to face the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers have won two straight and seven of their last eight. They are undefeated in their last three at home and have scored over 100 points in their last 16 games, during which the Blazers went 13-3.

On Thursday, Portland needed overtime and knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers, 116-112.

"Well, another good win for us, obviously, against an elite team in the West," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "We just keep finding ways to win games, making clutch shots, getting stops. We make it interesting at times, but I thought it was a terrific game and I'm glad to get a win."

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 32 points on 15-for-31 shooting. He also pulled down 10 rebounds.

"We're not trying to get too far in front of ourselves," said Aldridge. "We're going to keep working every night, keep getting better. If the chips put us in a position to play for a championship, then we'll do it, but we're not going to go off and start making these crazy goals right now."

Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum both had 19 points, while Damian Lillard added 14. Mo Williams finished with 12 off the bench and Robin Lopez registered a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

The Blazers are 12-2 in the Rose City this season and 11-0 against the East.

Miami enters Saturday's tilt on the heels of a 108-103 overtime loss in Sacramento the night before. The Kings had a 19-14 advantage in the extra period and were led by DeMarcus Cousins, who had 27 points and 17 boards.

"Cousins was a big body in there and made some big putbacks late," said Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra. "(Gay) got hot. He made some easy ones, some open ones, and some tough ones. That's usually how it goes."

Heat star LeBron James scored a game-high 33 points to go along with eight assists and eight boards. James, though, appeared to sustain a groin injury during the second quarter and will be evaluated before Saturday's tilt. He could sit this one out to rest and avoid further damage.

"Uh, it's not feeling too well right now," James said of the groin. "I don't know what happened in the first half. I played the whole second half and overtime, strained my groin, so I'll see how I feel on our trip to Portland tonight and tomorrow, but it ain't feeling too good right now."

Chris Bosh had 18 points in the loss for the Heat, who had won six in a row and eight of nine games.

Miami played without Dwyane Wade (knee), Ray Allen (knee), and Chris Andersen (back). All three are day-to-day.

The Heat are 8-5 away from home and still have Denver to visit on this four- game western road trip (1-1).

Miami has emerged victorious in three of the last four visits to Portland. The Heat struggled against Cousins on Friday and hope to slow down Aldridge, who has been named Western Conference Player of the Week three times this season.

12/28 11:31:49 ET

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    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Teams TBD

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Teams TBD

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  • NFL: Oakland at Denver

    Sunday at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Denver at Cincinnati

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Devils

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Rice

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
Final
MIA 100
BOS 84
Final
BRK 110
DET 105
Final
SAC 108
LAL 101
Final
ORL 88
PHI 96
Final
WAS 92
PHO 104
Final
MIN 96
IND 100
Final
OKC 99
NOP 101
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
Final
ALA 60
APP 59
Final
KSU 53
NDST 52
 
Final
WASU 82
SJST 53
1st
UTEP 33
ALCOR 11
 
1st
SEAT 2
SACST 0
 
Final
DET 1
COL 2
Final
EDM 5
DAL 6
Final
BOS 4
BUF 3
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
CHI 4
TOR 0
2nd
WIN 2
PHI 1
 
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
Half
ARI 3
SEA 14