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Blazers set for challenge versus Heat

(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 11:32:01 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
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Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Saturday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
10th
DUR 2
NOR 2
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
Final
TEX 8
SEA 6
Final
SFG 1
LOS 2
7th
SDP 1
COL 2
 
5th
PIT 2
MIL 2
 
5th
WAS 0
STL 4
 
5th
TAM 1
NYY 4
 
5th
MIN 1
TOR 2
 
3rd
CWS 0
BOS 0
 
2nd
HOU 0
KAN 2
 
2nd Intermission
NYR 1
PHI 1
 
1st
STL 1
CHI 2
 
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
10th
DUR 2
NOR 2