for this game

Hot night expected in Miami as Heat host Blazers

Mar 18, 2015 - 2:13 PM ( - The Miami Heat will try to continue the momentum gained in a huge win this week when the Portland Trail Blazers visit AmericanAirlines Arena Wednesday.

The Heat welcomed LeBron James back to South Beach on Monday and dispatched his Cleveland Cavaliers, 106-92.

Dwyane Wade scored 21 of his 32 points in the first half for the Heat. It was the second time James came back to Miami after leaving in the offseason. James led the Heat to four NBA titles appearances and two championships, but his Cavs got beat on Christmas in Miami.

"(It) was a great atmosphere," said Wade. "When you're playing one of the greatest to ever play the game you gotta bring your best."

Goran Dragic supplied 20 points and nine assists, Hassan Whiteside had 16 points with 11 rebounds and three blocks and Mario Chalmers added 16 points off the bench for the Heat.

The Cavs got back within four past the midway point of the second, but the Heat ended the final 5:15 of the quarter on a 19-5 run for a 56-38 advantage at halftime. It marked the largest halftime deficit for the Cavs all season.

Wade was an efficient 8-of-11 from the field over the opening 24 minutes for Miami, which held Cleveland to 35.7 percent shooting in the first half.

The Heat continued to keep the pressure on the Cavs, leading by as many as 25 in the third and having no trouble closing it out in the fourth.

Miami is tied for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics. The three teams are a game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets.

The Heat host the Denver Nuggets on Friday, then embark on a four-game road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks, Celtics and Atlanta Hawks.

The Blazers are on game three of a five-game road trip. Portland is 1-1 with a win over the Toronto Raptors to open the sojourn, then fell to the Washington Wizards, 105-97, on Monday.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who rallied from 25 points down in the third quarter to make it a one-possession game down the stretch but never led after scoring the first bucket of the game.

Arron Afflalo added 15 points, Damian Lillard had 14 points and nine assists and Nicolas Batum and Chris Kaman each contributed 12 points in the loss.

The Northwest Division-leading Blazers had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the second time in their last 10.

Portland's last lead was 2-0. But the Blazers made a game of it with a 28-10 run to end the third quarter, turning a 25-point deficit into a seven-point hole.

Afflalo started the flurry with a personal 7-0 run and scored 10 during the run, which got Portland within 81-74 going into the fourth quarter.

The margin was as low as three points after C.J. McCollum's jumper with 8:50 remaining, but Bradley Beal hit a 3-pointer at the other end and the Blazers were never closer than four after that.

"I like that we got behind by 25 and managed to put ourselves in position," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "It speaks well of our team."

Portland will visit Orlando and Memphis on this sojourn.

The Blazers beat the Heat in Portland on Jan. 8 to snap a three-game series losing streak. Portland has emerged victorious in four of its last six trips to South Beach.