The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (31 points, 11 rebounds), Damian Lillard (18 points, 6 assists) and Nicolas Batum (24 points), but the team struggled to stay close all night.
First Half: Sparked by outstanding three-point shooting, the Rockets kept control for most of the half. A pattern quickly formed: Houston took a good lead. Portland would cut into it with a quick run, then the Rockets would regain control with timely shooting or a fast break. Houston made over 50% of their three-pointers, and 65% of their shots overall. Neither team played any defense, but the Rockets simply had more firepower. Every time Portland had a cold spell, Houston hung 7 or 9 quick points on them. They couldn't pull away though, as Portland stayed within 9 at the half.
Wow, 5 three pointers for the Rockets already. This game is going into the triple digits.
Third Quarter: Houston's hot shooting, combined with Portland's poor defense, led to a 15 point lead. The Blazers could not close back to within single digits, as a James Harden three-pointer pushed the lead to 16. Portland tried a late run, but were betrayed by turnovers, and the Rockets lead remained 15.
Harden fouled Wes? Is it opposite day?
Fourth Quarter: The Houston lead quickly reached 18 within seconds. Eight minutes later, the lead was 19. That pretty much summed up the fourth quarter tonight. This isn't a night to reflect on, the defense was poor and the opponents were just on fire. Mark down the L and get ready for Orlando.
Box score | Portland Trail Blazers tickets via TiqIQ
Stay tuned for more analysis from Blazer’s Edge later tonight. In the meantime, check out the upcoming Blazers schedule. -- Tim