for this game

James, Wade lead Heat over Blazers

Mar 2, 2012 - 8:23 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to score 71 points Thursday and the Miami Heat cruised past the Portland Trail Blazers, 107-93, without Chris Bosh.

James had 38 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while Wade also filled the stat sheet with 33 points and 10 assists, leading the Heat to a season-best ninth straight win.

Bosh missed his first game of the season due to a death in his family and will also be out for Friday's game at Utah, the team said.

"We had a big piece of our team out," said James. "His abilities in the paint make us a better team, so I definitely had to step up my game."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points to lead the Blazers, who opened a three-game homestand, and Jamal Crawford scored 18.

The Heat played their first game since the All-Star break and won their ninth in a row for the first time since Dec. 23-Jan. 9 last season, with James saying they're playing "at an all-time high."

Each victory has come by double digits, and for a while this one looked like it would be an even bigger blowout than it was despite Bosh's absence.

"LeBron and Dwyane were on top of their games tonight. I thought our guys really worked hard to get them to shoot the ball over the top. We did that, but they made them," said Blazers coach Nate McMillan. "It's a tough matchup when you have guys like that who can score and are willing passers."

The Heat, in their first outing since beating Jeremy Lin and the Knicks by 14 on February 23, showed no rust and shot nearly 60 percent in the first quarter to carry a 32-24 lead into the second.

The advantage ballooned to 18 points at halftime, 60-42, and grew as high as 25 in the third quarter on a Shane Battier three that made it 73-48.

The shot capped an extended 20-6 run that started in the second quarter. James scored nine of his 38 points during the surge, including an alley-oop dunk on Wade's pass near the end of it.

Portland showed life, scoring the next seven points -- including four in a row by Crawford. But the Blazers were down 87-69 going into the fourth and only got as close as 10 in the final minutes.

James quickly put the Heat on top by 13 with a three-pointer at the other end and the Heat cruised from there.

Game Notes

It was the Heat's third win in their last nine games against Portland...Miami started a three-game road trip that also includes treks to Utah on Friday and Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Sunday...The Blazers started a three-game homestand that also includes visits from the Timberwolves and Hornets.