Saturday, January 19, 2008
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Blazers Hand Heat 12th Straight Loss

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[January 19, 2008]  MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade scored 37 points, and that still wasn't enough for the hapless Miami Heat. Brandon Roy led a fourth-quarter comeback Friday night and the Portland Trail Blazers won 98-91 to extend the Heat's losing streak to 12 games, which matches the third-longest in franchise history.

Roy finished with 24 points to help the Trail Blazers win for the ninth time after trailing at the start of the fourth quarter.

Wade tied his own franchise record by scoring 17 consecutive Heat points, and he set a team record for points in a third quarter with 20 to help Miami take a 76-69 lead to start the fourth quarter.

But Wade scored only two points in the final period, when he went 1-for-7, including a miss that would have tied the game with less than 2 minutes left.

Roy scored nine points during a 14-0 run that put Portland ahead 88-78. Miami managed only one field goal in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the final period.

The Blazers regained sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division, a half-game ahead of Denver, and improved to 7-12 on the road. They're 17-3 at home.

After Miami's Jason Williams sank a 3-pointer with 2:01 left to cut Portland's lead to 90-88, the Heat forced a turnover. But Udonis Haslem and Wade missed shots, and Travis Outlaw sank a jumper for Portland, before James Jones hit a clinching 3-pointer.

Outlaw finished with 18 points for the Blazers, who made 25 of 31 free throws and had 10 more rebounds than the Heat.

Miami's Shaquille O'Neal had 20 points and 11 rebounds in his second start after missing eight games with a hip injury. But the Heat's longest losing streak since late 2001 continued. They last won on Dec. 22.

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The crowd included members of the inaugural Miami team in 1988-89, which won 15 games. Grant Long, a forward for the expansion Heat, said they would match up competitively with the current club.

"People might say this team would steamroll us, but I don't think so," Long said.

O'Neal scored eight of the Heat's first 10 points and they led 12-6. But Miami went nearly seven minutes without a basket midway through the opening half, allowing Portland to score 10 consecutive points en route to a 25-18 lead.

Wade took charge to cut an 11-point Portland advantage to 58-55. After a three-point play by Miami's Ricky Davis tied the score, O'Neal twice missed inside but grabbed the rebound both times and sank his third try for a 71-69 lead.

The Heat scored 35 points in the third period, including a 14-0 run in the last 2:58 of the quarter.

Notes:@ The 1988-89 Heat team was honored at halftime as part of the franchise's 20th-season celebration. ... New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez sat courtside next to Heat owner Micky Arison. NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell was also in attendance. ... Miami fell to 2-20 when trailing after one quarter.

[Associated Press; By STEVEN WINE]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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