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Fernandez lifts Blazers to fourth straight win

Nov 13, 2008 - 5:06 AM By Christopher Stock PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Rookie Rudy Fernandez scored 14 of his career-high 25 points in the final quarter and Brandon Roy scored 22 as the Portland Trail Blazers posted a 104-96 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points for the Blazers, who have won four straight games.

Blazers rookie center Greg Oden, the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, made his return to the court after spraining his right foot in the season opener on October 28 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"We won and I got to play a whole game, so it was good for me," Oden said. "I feel good. I still need to catch up on my wind and keep getting back in shape."

"He was OK," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "It will come. He was aggressive. He made some plays and got some boards."

He came off the bench to collect three points and two rebounds with two blocks in 16 minutes.

"It felt good to get some points," said Oden, who was held scoreless in his NBA debut.

Miami, which was led by Dwyane Wade's season-high 36 points, lost for the first time in four home games. It was the fourth straight game Wade has scored at least 30 points. He also had eight assists and six rebounds.

"This is a very good team we played in Portland," Wade said. "They decided to get healthy vs. us and have their whole team play. Shawn Marion could have helped us and hopefully we can get him back very soon."

Fernandez made all five of his shots - two from the arc - in the final session, helping Portland pull away after it trailed, 75-73, after three quarters.

"I wasn't surprised (of Fernandez)," Wade said. "I played against him in the Olympics. I know what he can do. He's a good player. He plays like he's older than what he is. He's very poised."

The Spaniard made both 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter, and the Blazers later used a 10-4 run to take a 90-83 lead with six minutes remaining. LaMarcus Aldridge had a dunk attempt bank in as he was fouled by Wade and hit a free throw during the run.

"I feel good, but I feel good for the team because we played aggressive defense and played together," Fernandez said. "I'm very happy for my play. It was the very first time I scored 25 points, but it doesn't matter. The important thing was that we won four games in a row."

The Heat pulled within 96-92 with a minute left, but Fernandez hit a turnaround 20-footer with 44 seconds remaining, while the shot clock wound down to end the Heat's comeback hopes.

Rookie Michael Beasley scored 14 points for the Heat.