Nurkic gets in trouble, while Heat topple Blazers behind big 4th-quarter run

2022-01-06 06:46
Credit: AP-Scanpix

Max Strus shot 7-of-13 from 3-point range and scored a team-high 25 points in his return.

The Miami Heat (24-15) used an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter to hold off the host Portland Trail Blazers (14-23) 115-109 (30-23, 28-24, 25-33, 32-29) Wednesday.

The game got heated when Tyler Herro tried to fight Jusuf Nurkic by shoving him. Nurkic did not hold back and answered, punching Heat's guard in the head.

Player of the Game
Max  Strus
Max Strus
Points 25
Accuracy 9-17
Rebounds 6
Assists 5

Both Herro and Nurkic got ejected from the game.

Behind the shooting of Strus and Duncan Robinson, both of whom made their return from health and safety protocols, Miami hit 19-of-41 from 3-point range. Robinson scored all 12 of his points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting from deep.

Strus connected on back-to-back 3-pointers during the Heat's decisive, fourth-quarter run, then dished the last of his five assists to Omer Yurtseven to cap the scoring burst. Yurtseven finished with 14 points and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, just one off the career-best he set Monday at Golden State.

With season-long leading scorer Jimmy Butler out due to an ankle injury, the reserves helped carry the weight with a 44-22 advantage over the Blazers' bench. Tyler Herro scored 16 points to join starters Strus, Yurtseven, Caleb Martin, and P.J. Tucker in double-figures.

Martin scored 11 points. Tucker posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and his six assists were second on the team behind only Kyle Lowry's nine.

Lowry was ejected in the second quarter after earning his second technical foul for tossing the ball to an official. Lowry played just 16 minutes.

Portland trailed almost the entire night, and by as many as 19 points in the second quarter. But behind Anfernee Simons, who scored a game-high 28 points, the Blazers chipped away at the deficit.

Simons hit three of his five 3-pointers in a 1:59 stretch of the third quarter to ignite a 14-6 run. Simons then scored the final five points of the period to have Portland within a basket going into the final quarter.

The Blazers forced a 90-90 tie on a Dennis Smith Jr. layup with 9:41 remaining but could not take the lead. After Jusuf Nurkic laid in two of his 14 points to pull Portland to a 94-92 deficit, Miami scored the next eight points.

Norman Powell scored seven of his 26 points in the final minute, cutting the deficit to as few as four points, but it was not enough.

Nurkic finished with a double-double in the loss, grabbing 13 rebounds.

Heat: Max Strus 25 (6 REB, 5 AST), Tyler Herro 16 (5 REB), P. J. Tucker 14 (10 REB, 6 AST), Omer Yurtseven 14 (16 REB), Duncan Robinson 12, Caleb Martin 11.

Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons 28 (7 AST), Norman Powell 26, Jusuf Nurkic 14 (13 REB), Robert Covington 10 (9 REB), Nassir Little 10.

Full game highlights


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