The Miami Heat survived the ejection of their starting point guard to beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, 116-109 led by their big men Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, both of whom had a great scoring night to help the Florida team back to the win column.
Bosh top-scored for the Heat with 29 points on an efficient 11-of-19 shooting and added 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Whiteside posted a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds and added 5 blocked shots for Miami, which has now won four of the last five games after a three-game losing streak earlier in December.
Goran Dragic, who had 8 points and 8 assists, got his second technical foul late in the third quarter and the visiting Trail Blazers grabbed an 86-82 lead entering the final quarter. The Heat quickly turned the game around to start the fourth however, going on a 9-2 blast to grab the 91-88 advantage in the first three minutes.
The Blazers hang around for a bit but the Heat were more composed in the latter half of the final quarter as Gerald Green, who had 17 points on 6-of-9 field goals, hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Miami a 103-97 lead with 4:48 to go in the game.
The Heat never relinquished the lead and pushed Portland to their third straight loss and sixth defeat in the last eight outings. Dwyane Wade added 18 points and 7 assists for the Heat, who outrebounded the Trail Blazers, 42-30 in this game.
The Trail Blazers wasted another great effort from point guard Damian Lillard, who had a game-high 32 points plus 9 asssists. C.J. McCollum had 20 points and 6 assists, Mason Plumlee added 11 points and 7 rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu had 16 points and 3 steals.