NBA wrap: Heat earns fourth straight win to continue quietly moving up East standings

Miami may not get as much hype as some other teams, but it continues to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

Trail Blazers' forward Maurice Harkless, left, shoots over San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol. Portland secured a narrow 111-110 win.

For all the chatter surrounding the Cavaliers, Celtics, Wizards and Raptors this season, few have mentioned the Heat as a possible contender in the Eastern Conference.

While the Heat may not have a lineup filled with superstars, it earned its fourth straight win Sunday by outlasting the Jazz 103-102 at home, vaulting to fifth in the East.

Miami had six players reaching double-figure scoring in the win, led by Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson's 16 points apiece. Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson added 14 points apiece, and Kelly Olynyk chipped in with 12 points.

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The Heat (22-17) is void of any real weakness defensively, and has started putting up more explosive offensive numbers. Dragic remains one of the more underrated floor generals in the NBA, and James Johnson, a starter on most teams, came off the bench Sunday to score 13 points with 11 rebounds.

Sensational rookie Donovan Mitchell led Utah with a game-high 27 points, but the rest of the team struggled to convert. Point guard Ricky Rubio scored just four points on 0-for-6 shooting.

The Heat might just fly under the radar all the way to a deep post-season run.

Stud of the Night

Playing without Damian Lillard, a late scratch before Sunday's clash with a calf injury, Portland found a balanced scoring attack to beat the Spurs 111-110 at home. Maurice Harkless was a huge contributor off the bench, scoring 19 points off 7-of-10 shooting in just 24 minutes of action. Harkless also added five rebounds and two key blocks.

Duds of the Night

Russell Westbrook's supporting cast: The reigning league MVP recorded his 14th triple-double of the season, scoring 26 points with 11 assists and 10 rebounds. However, the Thunder still lost 114-100 to the lowly Suns. Carmelo Anthony and Paul George shot a combined 11 of 28 from the field, and the bench managed just 21 points.

What's Next

Cavaliers (26-13) at Timberwolves (25-16) 8:00 p.m. ET — Minnesota, winner in eight of its last 11 games, hosts the Cavaliers, which has lost four of its last six games. Cleveland has endured a roller-coaster season, but things are starting to fall into place. The young Timberwolves is starting to gel on both ends of the court, making it potential playoff sleepers as it continues to mesh.