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Blazers burn up Heat 99-83 to close on NBA lead

January 9, 2015

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Portland used a big third quarter to beat Miami 99-83 on Thursday, pushing the Trail Blazers closer to the top of the NBA standings.

In the day’s other games, Charlotte won at Toronto while Houston predictably defeated New York, sending the hapless Knicks to their 14th successive loss.

Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 12 rebounds, including 10 points in the third, when the Blazers outscored the Heat 33-16 to take control of the game.

Wesley Matthews had 18 points for Portland, which moved a yawning 11 games clear in the Northwest Division and closed within 1-1/2 games of league leader Golden State.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 23 points.

Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson scored a season-high 31 points and Kemba Walker added 29 to lead the Hornets past Toronto 103-95.

Walker made a jumper from just inside the 3-point line with 19.6 seconds to give the Hornets a six-point lead, all but securing their fourth straight win.

Kyle Lowry’s 24 points, seven assists and seven rebounds led the Raptors, who were coming off a six-game trip.

New York’s 120-96 home defeat by Houston stretched the Knicks’ losing streak to 14; their worst ever within a single season.

The Rockets beat New York for the 11th straight time and handed the Knicks their 24th loss in 25 games.

James Harden had 25 points and nine assists in just three quarters, with the Rockets already up by 24 points at the last break.

Trevor Ariza added 18 points for the Rockets.

Rookie Travis Wear scored a season-high 21 points for New York, which is closing in on its worst-ever losing streak of 20, which straddled the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.

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