The Miami HEAT fell to the Portland Trail Blazers 115-99 Monday night at Moda Center. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 23 points.
1. Dragić Breathes Fire Early
There was pretty much no stopping Dragić in the first half on Monday, as the Slovenian attacked in transition often and came through with nifty plays like this gorgeous behind-the-back move late in the second quarter:
As such, he led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting before halftime.
That said, Dragić continued to get the job done in the second half with silky-smooth mid-range jumpers off some great screens from his teammates.
In addition to his team-high 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting, the 31-year-old also had two boards and two assists.
2. Winslow Never Quits
Although Justise Winslow had this tough finish in transition early in the second quarter…
…he went off in the fourth quarter and was instrumental in the HEAT’s comeback bid.
In fact, Winslow tallied 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, two assists and two blocks in the final period, including seven-straight points for Miami at one point.
What sparked the flurry?
Look no further than this fantastic defensive sequence where Winslow was basically a wall against C.J. McCollum:
Later in the fourth, Winslow accepted the challenge of defending Damian Lillard and fared pretty well. Of course, the 21-year-old also guarded Ed Davis, Zach Collins and Al-Farouq Aminu at times throughout the contest.
When it was all said and done, Winslow scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, tied a career-high with 13 rebounds and dished out four assists to go along with his aforementioned two blocks.
3. TJ Does His Thing
As usual, Tyler Johnson stretched the floor and led the HEAT with four makes from downtown, including this one in the fourth:
In all, TJ amassed 17 points, three rebounds and two assists.
-Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) sat out. Dwyane Wade (mild left hamstring strain), Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Derrick Jones Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment) and Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) were inactive.
-The HEAT will now travel to Sacramento to face the Kings Wednesday at 10:00 PM. After taking on the Lakers on Friday, Miami will then return home to prepare for its matchup with the Nuggets on Monday, March 19. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.