The Portland Trail Blazers got a pair of clutch 3-pointers from shooting guard Wesley Matthews in the final minute en route to a come-from-behind 92-90 upset of the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
Matthews' final bucket capped off a comeback that saw the Blazers erase a 12-point deficit over the final eight minutes of Thursday night's game at the Rose Garden arena in Portland.
The Heat grabbed a 13-point lead at halftime thanks to smothering defense and hot shooting by power forward Chris Bosh, but Portland's balanced scoring over the final two quarters proved too much against a Miami team that - for once - did not get a 20-plus scoring night out of superstar LeBron James.
The game was up for grabs in the closing minutes, and on this occasion reserve guard Ray Allen - who missed a wide-open 3-pointer and also rimmed out a free throw down the stretch - failed to hit the big shots for the Heat.
Matthews, by contrast, hit one 3-pointer to tie the game at 88-88 with just under a minute left and finally gave the Blazers the lead with another shot from behind the arc at the 27-second mark.
In the closing seconds, the Blazers' defense forced the ball out of the hands of James and Bosh and guard Mario Chalmers then misfired on a last-gasp 3-pointer.
Portland won despite two late-game missed free throws by star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge that almost cost his team dearly.
The Blazers were led by forward Nicolas Batum, who scored 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Aldridge also had a big night for Portland with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Bosh led all scorers with 29 points, while shooting guard Dwyane Wade added 18 but missed 12 of his 18 field-goal attempts.
James had his typical all-around performance with 10 rebounds and nine assists but he notched just 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting to break a streak of 54 consecutive games with at least 20 points scored.
Despite the loss, the Heat did a much better job on the glass than they had in losses earlier this month to the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers.
Whereas the Heat were mauled on the boards by double-digit margins in those defeats, Miami and Portland each grabbed 45 rebounds on Thursday night.
Portland improved to 20-15 while Miami fell to 23-11.
In other action Thursday night in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers continued their charge up the Eastern Conference standings with an 81-76 win over the New York Knicks, who were playing without suspended star Carmelo Anthony.
The Pacers have won eight of their last 10 and are now just a game and a half behind the Knicks and two games behind the Heat in the East.
The Dallas Mavericks topped the Sacramento Kings 117-112 in overtime in the only other game. EFE