Houston strolled into Portland and utterly demolished the Blazers from horn to horn tonight, to the groans of the Rose Garden crowd. Much like the Atlanta game, the Blazers looked a step slow all evening, at times looking like they didn't seem to care. Houston did a great job of defending the Blazers (repeatedly double-teaming LaMarcus Aldridge), and repeatedly hit their open shots.
This was the second blowout loss in a row, both truly ugly. Since the All-Star break, Portland is 1-3, all at home, and in the one win, they came back from down 5 in under a minute. They're now in 7th place in the West, with 9th place Phoenix 1.5 games back.
The Blazers were led by no one tonight. Nicolas Batum was the top scorer with 22, and Aldridge and Gerald Wallace finished with 14 apiece. For the Rockets, Luis Scola burned the Blazers on 10-11 shooting and 21 points, while Kyle Lowry added 21 points and 11 assists. Kevin Martin finished with 20 points.
If you can bear to watch it, the Blazers are right back in action tomorrow night, at 7pm in Sacramento. And, regardless of how the Blazers are playing, you can make a few kids' nights by donating to the upcoming Blazersedge Night at the Rose Garden.
The box score is here. Don't read it. Dave and Ben will stop by later. Definitely read that, both posts should be interesting. -- Tim