James gets 32 as Heat edge out Portland

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James gets 32 as Heat edge out Portland

LeBron James scored 32 points, including a layup with 11.4 seconds left, and Chris Bosh capped his 30th birthday by blocking Damian Lillard’s layup in the final moments as the Miami Heat escaped with a 93-91 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Bosh finished with 15 points and Chris Andersen had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, which won for just the fifth time in 12 games. Mario Chalmers added 11 points for the Heat.

Lillard led the Blazers with 19 points on 3-for-15 shooting. Mo Williams scored 17, Wes Matthews had 15, Nicolas Batum 11 and Robin Lopez 10 for Portland, which was down 17 with just more than 9 minutes remaining.

Lillard had a chance to tie it with just more than a second to go, but Bosh swatted his shot away and then pumped his arms in celebration - saving the Heat from a potential collapse.

Matthews made a 3-pointer with 2:55 left to cut the Miami lead to five, and Lillard had an open lane on the next Portland possession. But his reverse layup spun harmlessly off the backboard, Chalmers connected on a right-wing jumper about a minute later to make it a three-possession game, and Miami seemed on its way.

Not yet.

James got called for an offensive foul - Lillard drew it - and that turnover set up a Portland possession on which Batum hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to pull the Trail Blazers to 91-89 with 44.9 seconds left.

Miami turned it over again on its next trip, then Norris Cole fouled Mo Williams with 30.9 seconds left. Williams made both, tying the game.

But James saved Miami with a drive down the left side of the lane, and then Bosh came up with the block to seal the win. Miami held Portland to 38 percent shooting, the best Heat effort in that department in a month.

Miami was without Dwyane Wade for the 19th time this season, though this absence wasn’t part of the season-long maintenance program designed to help his knees. Wade tweaked an ankle last week in Boston, though he played two nights later against Memphis.

Maybe that was one of many reasons why James came out with a different approach than usual.

He was on the court getting shots up for about 15 minutes less than an hour before tip-off, something not normal for him to do at home.

AP


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