D-Wade and LeBron get little support as Heat drop 5th straight

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 08: Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts after losing a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Arena on March 8, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The way this one started, you got the feeling that it was going to be ‘same story, different day' for the Heat.  After Mario Chalmers got things started by making the first two buckets of the game for Miami, they seemed to get a bit lethargic, missing shots and turning the ball over.  Meanwhile, Portland started the game making their first 4 shots. 

Something I've noticed that feels like its becoming a trend is how difficult it appears to be for Miami to get points on the board while their opponents are able to come down the floor and move the ball around with ease until they can put in an easy score.  Considering the talent that the Heat have to work with, it's something that just doesn't make sense to me.

Miami grabbed the lead from the Blazers early in the 2nd quarter, but the Heat began to play some poor defense and got very sloppy on offense.  That allowed Portland to go on a 10-0 run and go up by 6.  A lot of the damage was being done by the Blazers reserves, but that's what will happen when you have Brandon Roy and Gerald Wallace coming off the bench. 

The two combined for 26 1st half points (15 for Wallace and 11 for Roy), and Portland closed the 2nd quarter on a nice little 7-2 run and took a 57-51 advantage into the break.  LeBron James pitched in with 19 points of his own during the half, but 11 turnovers and a whopping 5 points from the Heat bench just isn't going to cut it.

The 3rd quarter was more of the same...all LeBron and Wade, with a dash of the other starters.  Erick Dampier, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers each had one bucket apiece, and the Miami reserve players did absolutely nothing.  LeBron added 8 points to his total and D-Wade scored 10, including the final 8 of the quarter over a 3½ minute span that brought the Heat to within 2.

Wade made it 10 straight points and tied the game at 77 with a dunk to open the 4th quarter.  The Heat then went cold for a few minutes while Portland scored 6 straight, but again it was D-Wade doing the dirty work, drilling a triple this time.  Another 5 consecutive points for the Blazers and the Heat were down by 9, just unable to muster any consistency on offense when it counted.

A 9-2 Miami run got them back within 2 points of Portland, despite the team continuously settling for long jumpers, which has become a big problem with the team in my eyes.  A D-Wade running jumper made the score 93-91 with just under 4 minutes left which is when the Heat fell into their normal routine of disappointing 4th quarter play. 

Two minutes and 7 Portland points later, Miami was on their way to consecutive loss number 5.  At the 2-minute mark Wade hit triple that may have given the Heat life, and they played great D on the Blazers next possession, but Wesley Matthews hit a prayer of a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired that acted as the dagger.

LaMarcus Aldridge had a great game on both ends of the floor.  He finished with 26 points on 11-of-20 shooting, grabbing 4 rebounds with an assist and a block.  He also made a big difference on the defensive end, limiting Chris Bosh to just 7 points on 3-of-11 shooting.

GAME NOTES

  • Dwyane Wade played in his 531st game as a member of the Miami Heat, passing Udonis Haslem for 2nd on the franchise's most games played list.  Alonzo Mourning is 1st, playing in 593. 
  • Wade led all scorers with 38 points, 24 of which came in the 2nd half.  He also went 12-of-13 from the charity stripe and had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.
  • Portland had 6 of their players finish with double figure scoring. 
  • The Heat bench was outscored 41-8. 
  • Mike Miller continues to struggle finding his way, making just 1-of-7 from the field and missing both of his shots from downtown. 
  • LeBron came 2 assists shy of a triple double, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. 
  • This was the 4th time this season that Miami had two players score at least 30 points, but the first time of the 4 that the Heat lost that game. 
  • Mike Bibby scored 6 points, his most since joining the Heat, on 2-of-4 shooting (all from downtown).
  • Miami turned the ball over 14 times which led to 20 Portland points. 

Things don't get any easier for Miami because Thursday night they will welcome the L.A. Lakers to the AAA.  We'll see what happens on that night, but they'll have to find a way to come up with a little bit better of an effort from people not named Wade or LeBron.   

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