Portland Trail Blazers lose Damian Lillard to calf injury, then lose 1st game of season to Miami Heat: At the buzzer

The Portland Trail Blazers saw their season-opening four-game winning streak and their superstar go down on the same night.

The Blazers lost 119-98 to the Miami Heat Wednesday night at the Moda Center after Damian Lillard left in the third quarter with a right calf strain and did not return.

Lillard appeared to wince after dribbling the to his left and shooting a three-point shot midway through the third. Afterward, he favored his right calf as he jogged back up court. A minute later, Lillard committed a turnover, was removed from the game and went directly to the Blazers’ locker room for evaluation, his night over with 5:10 left in the third and the Blazers trailing 79-70.

The Heat (2-3) extended their lead substantially after Lillard departed, building a lead as large as 108-85 with 7:35 remaining.

Lillard finished with 22 points and two assists. Anfernee Simons added 14 points for the Blazers (4-1).

The Heat had six players reach double-figures in scoring, including Bam Adebayo, who had 18 points and eight rebounds. Miami dominated in assists (33-20) and fast-break points (29-14), with all 29 of its fast-break points coming off of 19 Portland turnovers.


The Blazers missed an opportunity to start a season 5-0 for the first time since 1992-93, when they won their first eight games. But that’s trivial in comparison to Lillard leaving the game with an injury. After missing all but 29 games last season, he opened the 2022-23 season by averaging 33.0 points over his first four games.

However, Lillard downplayed the severity of the injury after the game, saying that he would have continued playing if were the playoffs. He added that he planned to sit out the Blazers’ next game — Friday against Houston — and would be smart with his recovery, but was hopeful that he would only miss the one game. The Blazers will have four days off after the Houston game before hosting Memphis on Nov. 2.

Portland Trail Blazers basketball

Portland Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe shoots over two Miami Heat defenders during an NBA game at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022.Sean Meagher/The Oregonian


Portland started well, but the game began to change in the second quarter, when the Heat outshot the Blazers 58.3% to 44.4% as Portland made just 3 of 11 threes. Miami led 61-56 at halftime, and things only got worse for the Blazers. After Lillard departed, the Heat closed the quarter strong to go up 94-81.

“I thought we got off to a good start, which I thought was important, but they turned the tide on us,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said.


Winslow, who missed Monday’s win over Denver with a right ankle sprain, returned and scored nine points with three assists in just under 25 minutes off the bench.


The rookie finished with season-highs in points (15) and rebounds (eight), while shooting 5 of 12 from the field in 21 minutes.


The Blazers host Houston (1-3) at 7 p.m. Friday at the Moda Center.

— Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Lazy Cork
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart