----- CJ McCollum scores 28 points as the Portland Trail Blazers snap a five-game losing streak with a 102-95 win Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
With his team desperately needing a win, CJ McCollum carried the Trail Blazers to a 102-95 win over the Miami Heat. McCollum scored 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting to go along with three rebounds and three assists.
The Blazers struggled defensively in the first half as the Heat built a 60-50 halftime lead. Miami extended their lead to 16 points at 70-54 after a three-pointer from Dion Waiters with 8:30 to play in the third quarter. The Blazers closed the quarter on a 16-9 run cutting Miami's lead to 79-70 at the end of three. Portland opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run and exploded for a 23-10 run during the final 8:29 of the game.
Damian Lillard struggled for most of the night, but he scored seven-straight points late in the game including a three-point play to give the Blazers a 98-95 lead with 1:40 to play. Lillard finished the night with 18 points and six assists on 5-for-14 shooting.
Zach Collins started at center tonight for the injured Jusuf Nukric, he scored nine points and pulled down three rebounds. Al-Farouq Aminu provided a boost for the Blazers tonight with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Miami (13-14) was led by Wayne Ellington, who scored 21 of his team-high 24 points off the bench on 7-for-10 shooting from three-point range. Dion Waiters added 17 points and James Johnson recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Next up- Trail Blazers travel to Orlando to meet the Magic on Friday. Game is scheduled to tip off at 4:00 PM.
Chad's take- CJ said it best, "We needed this win in the worst way." The five-game losing streak is over and now the Blazers have a little momentum heading into Orlando.