Heat Take Step Back in Loss to Blazers

The Heat fell right back out of a playoff spot with their 115-104 loss to the Trail Blazers on Sunday

The Miami Heat fell out of a playoff position with their 115-104 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

After entering the game as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat are now on the outside looking in once again. Miami also had the chance to reach the .500 mark with a win in this one, but instead has slipped back to two games under the mark.

Complicating matters for Miami, was the loss of Dion Waiters. The veteran had become one of the Heat's most dependable and consistent players in the second half. Waiters could potentially miss the rest of the regular season after sustaining an injury to his ankle. Waiters is currently on crutches and Miami will need contributions from the reserves on the team.

Josh Richardson drew the start in this game in place of Waiters, and he could continue to be the beneficiary of extra playing time. Richardson was held mostly quiet with nine points, one rebound and two assists. These numbers pale in comparison to Waiters' typical output.

The biggest night for Miami came from a bench player, and that man was James Johnson. The forward had 24 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.

Among the starters, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside tied with 17 points each. Whiteside also had ten rebounds to tally another double-double. Dragic filled the stat sheet with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

The Heat will stay home and host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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