The Portland Trail Blazers saw their modest two-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday in Houston, dropping the first game of a back-to-back to the Rockets 111-104. The Rockets used a 20-3 run in the third and fourth quarters to set themselves up for the victory, despite a late run from the Blazers.
Damian Lillard led all scorers with 34 points, while Houston got 29 from James Harden and a triple-double from Chris Paul.
Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game:
- Sizzle then fizzle. The Blazers got off to a great start out of the gate, jumping out to an early 15 point lead. However, the Rockets recovered behind their bench for a 15-2 run to close out the first quarter, cutting the Blazers lead to just two.
- The other guys. The Rockets won thanks in large part to a phenomenal effort from their bench. Gerald Green led the charge with 13 points, and both Danuel House (12) and Nene Hilario (10) also scored in double figures.
- Crisis averted. Lillard appeared to suffer a shoulder injury in the early going, but after a timeout was able to remain in the game. He looked no worse for the wear for the rest of the night, an encouraging sign.
The Blazers take on the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow night at the FedEx Forum. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into tonight’s game from Brian Freeman.