Josh Hart’s cold-blooded three lifts Portland Trail Blazers over Heat

Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

With three defenders shifting all of their attention on Damian Lillard with 1.5 seconds left, Lillard found Josh Hart Hart in the deep corner to sink the Miami Heat at the buzzer for a walk-off win. It was the fourth game-winner of the season, and none have come from the lead man, Damian Lillard, either.

The Blazers went with their gritty short ball lineup to pick up their seventh win of the year. The 27-year-old said it before he was doused in water in his post game interview, this team just continues to grind. Their grit and focus are what continue to bring positive virtue to a team that was doubted when the season began.

Jerami Grant’s corner three put the Blazers up 105-104 with 35 seconds left to go in the game. Although it was not the game-defining score, it kept the Miami crowd and the Heat at bay as they continued to have to keep taking their best shot against the late-game scoring of the Blazers.

Anfernee Simons stepped up big, scoring in double digits in the fourth to help Portland defeat Miami. Grant finished with 23 points and six rebounds, shooting 62 percent from the 3-point line on eight attempts. Grant has continued to be a catalyst in game-winning buzzer-beaters for these Blazers. He possesses poise that Portland has not seen in a forward in a very long time.

After Lillard missed a rebound with 14 seconds to go, Portland recovered a rebound and Simons knocked down two free throws. Max Strus hit a contested three in the corner with seven seconds to go in the fourth to tie the game at 107. It was good defense but just better offense.

Hart sealed the game at the buzzer, finishing with a well-rounded game of 12 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and two steals.

The small ball lineup that has given opposing opponents fits did the same in the fourth against Miami, and there were a lot of mismatches they were not able to take advantage of. Continuous cohesive communication from Lillard and Simmons made the late fourth-quarter comeback run smoothly defensively.

It was the ideal way to start a six-game road trip before Portland heads to the Queen City to face off against the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday.