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December 20, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Portland at Miami

Image

Lynne Sladky / AP

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being fouled during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball championship against the San Antonio Spurs, Thursday, June 20, 2013, in Miami.

Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point.

Our three sports writers started with a $10,000 bankroll — fictional, of course.

Portland Trailblazers plus-6 at Miami Heat: $550 to win $500 : True, Miami is the two-time defending NBA champions. And, true, the Heat have arguably the world’s best player in LeBron James. Then, how do you explain Miami’s awful play the past three weeks?

Since March 4, the Heat have a 4-7 record. James is playing with a bad ankle and back, and Greg Oden and Dwyane Wade might not suit up today after missing Saturday’s game with injury.

And Miami likely will be looking past Portland for Wednesday’s showdown against Indiana, which is the team its fighting with for the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Who cares about what happens against Portland, right?

Still, Portland has problems of its own.

The Trailblazers’ poor defense has been an eye-sore all season, LaMarcus Aldridge hasn’t played in nearly two weeks and Portland is an awful road team.

Here’s hoping six points is enough of a cushion to cash my ticket. I certainly need the help in our contest.

Standings: Bern (16-11, $10,890), Keefer (12-12, $9,297), Brewer (8-14-3, $6,010)

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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