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Rockets Guards Too Much For Blazers, 121-112

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Despite Lillard’s return and Harden’s absence, Houston’s backcourt tandem overwhelmed Portland.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

With Damian Lillard back in the lineup, the Portland Trail Blazers stayed close to the Houston Rockets all night. But Chris Paul made key plays late in the game, and the Rockets held off a game Blazers squad, 121-112. Here are some essentials from tonight’s game.

  • Welcome back, Dame. Sort of. Lillard returned to the starting lineup, and made his impact felt quickly. However, NBC Sports caught a glimpse of him seemingly reaching at his leg just before he was subbed out of the game in the third quarter. He returned for the fourth quarter nonetheless.
  • A rare unfavorable backcourt matchup. The Blazers usually play the best guard tandem in any NBA game, and James Harden sat out with an injury. However, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon feasted on Portland’s backcourt defense to the tune of 67 combined points. Lillard and McCollum each shot 9-16 and combined for 53 points, but it wasn’t enough.
  • An “Arm’s Length” game. The final score was close, and the Blazers gave Houston a scare down the stretch, but the Rockets kept the Blazers at bay most of the night. Portland played a respectable game, but just didn’t have enough in the tank to pull it out.

Box Score

Highlights:

What’s Next:

A trip to New Orleans for a bout against the Pelicans Friday night.