NOTE: In the final seconds, Nolan Smith was inadvertently elbowed in the head on a drive, and stayed down with medical assistance for a significant period of time. He was eventually taken off the court on a stretcher and neck brace, in a very scary moment. We'll provide updates as we get them. The game was called with 40 seconds left.
After a big win in their first game, the Portland Trail Blazers came up short against the Houston Rockets. Their well-stocked team held back every comeback, while their big guys held down the middle, and took care of the rebounds. Late in the game, they used their advantages to pull away.
Nolan (27 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Damian Lillard (27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) led the team. Will Barton (8 points, 5 assists) bounced back after a quiet first game. Barton's stat line doesn't represent it well, but he was active at both ends all night.
Meyers Leonard (8 points, 4 boards) had to deal with real big men down the middle, and struggled accordingly. Luke Babbitt (13 points, 4 rebounds) scored in double figures but struggled, as the Gameday Thread crew wished for his departure. Nobody else figured into the game.
Hang out here, discuss Nolan Smith and the overall game, and check out the box score. The game will be shown on NBA TV at 10pm tonight (with no replay), and Comcast Sportsnet will replay it tonight at 8pm and 11pm, then Wednesday at 7am and 9pm. -- Tim