(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers look to avoid a third consecutive defeat when they resume a five-game road trip Friday against the Orlando Magic.
The Trail Blazers opened the journey with a win over the Toronto Raptors, but have suffered subsequent setbacks to the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat.
In a 108-104 loss to the Heat on Wednesday, Miami veteran guard Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his team's final 17 points and ended with 32, while Portland was led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 34 points on 15-of-24 shooting and 12 rebounds. Damian Lillard and Arron Afflalo scored 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Down 88-85, the Heat used an 11-0 surge. Wade scored the final five points of the burst to give Miami a 96-88 edge with 5:40 to play. But Aldridge scored the next four points to keep it close.
"They picked up the pressure defensively in the second half," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "Miami played very well, particularly at the offensive end."
Wade then took over the rest of the game. Aldridge made two short jumpers to make it 104-102 with 52.1 seconds left. Wade responded with a pair of jumpers around a miss from Aldridge to give the Heat a two-point edge with 13.6 seconds remaining. The Blazers were then called for a backcourt violation, and Wade added two free throws to seal the victory.
"This is what I love to do," Wade said. "This is the fun part of this game. I mean, obviously the last couple years I had to do what I had to do for that team. But now for this team I get to be a little bit back to my usual self, having the ball. I'm not going to do it right every time, but I like my chances most nights."
The Blazers are 16-16 on the road and had won three straight and eight of nine games before the current skid. They will close the trek Saturday in Memphis.
Orlando will play the next five games at home versus Portland, Denver, Atlanta, Detroit and San Antonio, and is 11-22 at Amway Arena.
The Magic have dropped six in a row and 10 of 12 games, including Wednesday's 107-102 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in Big D. Victor Oladipo had 19 points, Moe Harkless added 18 and Elfrid Payton notched his first career triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
"This was one of the proudest halves we had together as a group," said Magic coach James Borrego. "To be down 22 in the Dallas, on the road, and shorthanded we didn't fold, we stuck together, we fought, we competed, and I'm just really proud of the effort, the intensity, the togetherness, the growth we're making, and I think we saw it in the second half."
Magic forward Tobias Harris did not play after spraining his left ankle in Tuesday's loss to Houston. Harris is questionable for Friday's game.
Orlando was dealt a 103-92 setback in Rip City on Jan. 10, as Aldridge recorded 25 points to lead the hosts. Nikola Vucevic's 34 points and 16 rebounds weren't enough for the Magic.
These two teams have split the last six meetings.