Thu, Mar 25, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Portland Trail Blazers (25-18, 11-9 away) visit the Miami Heat (22-22, 12-11 home) on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 PM ET in a battle of struggling teams.
The Trail Blazers have lost two in a row, while the Heat has dropped their last four games to fall a half-game out of first in the Southeast Division behind the Charlotte Hornets. Miami is in the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference, nine games out of first place.
Portland is seven games out of first place in the Northwest Division behind the league-best Utah Jazz. The Trail Blazers sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, seven games out of first.
This is the first meeting of the season between the Trail Blazers and the Heat. They will meet again on April 11.
The injury list for tonight’s game is long and includes the following players:
The Trail Blazers most recently suffered a 116-112 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Damian Lillard led Portland with 22 points and Enes Kanter had 19.
"I think both teams played real good basketball, both teams competed throughout the beginning of the game, throughout the whole fourth quarter. They just made some extra couple of shots end of the quarter," Kanter said.
"We've been a good shooting team all year. I think that was a little bit of an anomaly of Dame and CJ and (Carmelo Anthony) not making a 3. I think the offense will be better and that will help our defense."
The Heat dropped a 110-100 decision to the Phoenix Suns the last time out on the court. Kendrick Nunn led the way for the Heat with 25 points. Miami has been struggling from the field, shooting just 41% overall during a four-game losing streak.
"We'll keep plugging away until we find the right solutions," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're certainly better than what we've shown over the last four games on the offensive end."
The team has also shot just 28% from the three-point range during the losing streak. The four-game skid couldn’t have come at a worse time either. The Heat had just won 11 of their last 12 games when the slide began.
"We know we're not playing to our capability," Nunn said. "But we'll get things together."
Despite being in the midst of a four-game skid, the Heat are -2 favorites to win tonight’s contest with the Trail Blazers. The money line also favors the Heat at -130. The over-under is set at 217 total points. Placing a wager on an NBA game tonight? Take the Trail Blazers and the +110 money line over the Heat.