he bench came alive to help Portland snap their road losing streak.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and the Blazers bench scored 37 points as the
Both teams started the game cold from the field, but Houston recovered first for an early 14-2 run. The bench led the charge to recover, with Steve Blake scoring five in the quarter. Aldridge led the Blazers in the quarter with eight, and Portland trailed by just one after one.
The bench exploded in the second quarter, with CJ McCollum leading the blitz. The bench scored 18 of Portland's 35 points in the second quarter, with McCollum scoring nine and Chris Kaman four. Will Barton got in on the action, blocking a Trevor Ariza shot from behind on one end and sweeping through the lane for an up and under layup on the other. The starters continued the effort, with Robin Lopez scoring six in the quarter, and Portland took a 13 point lead into halftime.
The parallels started to grow in the third quarter between this game and the previous game versus Dallas. The offense went out of rhythm, unable to find any shots. On the Houston end, James Harden made his case for yet another Academy Award, shooting 14 free throws in the third quarter alone. The Rockets as a team shot 18. Harden shot just 3-of-8 from the field, but scored 18 points in the quarter. Behind his fantastic acting, the Rockets closed the gap to one after three. Aldridge led the Blazer scoring with eight.
When things looked dark in the fourth quarter, help came in the form of Meyers Leonard. Leonard scored Portland's first nine points of the fourth quarter and help Portland re-extend their lead to as far as nine. When the Rockets got as close as four, Nicolas Batum hit a three for a seven point lead to seal the game.
McCollum and Leonard led the bench scoring with 12. Damian Lillard had 23 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Lopez had 14 points.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night
Thanks to all who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! Most folks were awesome as always, but unfortunately, it was sometimes a night of premature disappointment. Here were a few of the classics:
Predicting a [Blazers] 83-96 loss
I smell a [Rockets] blowout coming
I am so tired of lack of effort and heart. Terry fails to motivate his troops, and it is very frustrating.
The #Blazers' bench finished with 37 points. McCollum (12 pts) was big in the 1st half, Leonard (12 pts, 6 rbs) was vital in the 4th Q.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) February 9, 2015
With Leonard, McCollum each scoring 12, #Blazers get two double-figure scorers off bench for 1st time since N.O. game on 12/20.— Mike Tokito (@mtokito) February 9, 2015
Portland held its opponent below 40% FG for the 15th time this season, already the team's most in a season since 2007-08 (17 times).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) February 9, 2015
Been in the locker room for about 30 seconds and have already heard the name "Amber Rose" at least 10 times— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) February 9, 2015
Last night's loss gave the Blazers a fork in the road, at least mentally. They turned the right direction tonight. Gut check passed.— Mike Barrett (@blazermb) February 9, 2015
Our bus driver in Houston, after Meyers Leonard walked past him on the bus: "that's the kid that was killing us tonight! Man!"— Mike Barrett (@blazermb) February 9, 2015
Meyers on the win: "All I can really say is: It’s a big time win, especially after a rough one last that we absolutely should’ve got."— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 9, 2015
Asked Jason Terry if #Blazers bench won this game: "No question," he said. "… If those guys play well for them, they’re very tough to beat."— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 9, 2015
VIDEO: LaMarcus Aldridge denies James Harden at the rim.