Key Heat Players Ready to Rejoin Lineup for Clash Against Blazers

The Heat are 4-0 on the excursion after notching a 121-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

The Trail Blazers have dropped eight straight games, matching their worst stretch during a poor season. It is their third streak of at least seven defeats this season.

Miami will be playing the second game of a road back-to-back set but will get Jimmy Butler and Nikola Jovic back after each served a one-game suspension on Monday. They were docked for their role during an altercation between the Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Thomas Bryant will serve his second game of a three-game ban on Tuesday, also stemming from the New Orleans fracas.

Heat guard Tyler Herro could be back after missing the Sacramento game due to a hyperextended left knee. An MRI exam came back clean.

Even with Butler (21.4 scoring average) and Herro (20.8) sidelined, the Heat reached 120 points for just the third time in their past 20 games.

Bam Adebayo led the way with 28 points against the Kings to top 20 for the fifth time in six games and raise his season mark to 20.5. He made 11 of 18 shots and added 10 rebounds and seven assists to help Miami hold off a Sacramento comeback attempt.

The Heat also received another stellar effort from rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. He scored 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting while focused on softening the loss of Butler.

“When you’re missing a guy like that, everybody has to step up,” Jaquez said. “He’s such a big part of our team and missing him is something that we obviously feel. But no matter, we’ve still got to play a game. Guys have to step up, and we want to do it for those guys.”

Adebayo continues to be amazed by Jaquez, a former UCLA star.

“He’s not a regular rookie, I’ve always said that,” Adebayo said of Jaquez. “He’s well beyond his years. We’re just going to keep driving him to be who he is.”

Miami led 101-81 at the end of the third quarter before the Kings moved within two with 3:41 remaining. Jaquez then scored back-to-back baskets to start a game-ending, 11-2 charge.

The Trail Blazers are 0-6 on a seven-game homestand that began when they blew a 23-point lead to the NBA-worst Detroit Pistons and eventually lost 128-122 in overtime.

Portland sustained another hurtful setback on Sunday night when it fell 93-80 to the Hornets. Charlotte earned its first win in Portland since 2008, ending its 15-game losing streak in the Rose City.

The Trail Blazers were awful from 3-point range, making just 3 of 32 attempts (9.4 percent). Anfernee Simons missed all eight of his shots from beyond the arc and was 4 of 21 overall.

“We got a lot of open shots,” said Simons, who wound up with 10 points. “I got a lot of good looks, and they just didn’t fall. Just one of those days for everybody.”

Portland coach Chauncey Billups acknowledged the poor shooting but also tipped his hat to the Hornets.

“Defensively, they are locking people down and they are turning people over,” Billups said. “They’ve been pretty physical on the ball.”

Portland’s Deandre Ayton excelled with 26 points and 19 rebounds. He was 11 of 16 from the field, efficiency that really stood out with the Trail Blazers finishing at 34.7 percent.

Trail Blazers rookie point guard Scoot Henderson (adductor) will miss his third straight game on Tuesday.

The contest will be the first of the teams’ two meetings this season. Miami has won seven of the past 10 matchups.

 

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