The Portland Trail Blazers met the Houston Rockets at the Moda Center on Saturday night less than 24 hours after the last matchup between the teams. With a final score almost identical to the night before, the Blazers were defeated 115-98. With this loss the Blazers have now lost three straight, all three by at least 17 points.
If you missed any of the action, you can find our quarter-by-quarter recap here.
Here are some trends from another big loss on paper, but a big win for lottery odds.
Big Second Half for the Rockets
Although it was a 17 point loss, this contest was closer than the final score would imply. The Blazers and Rockets entered halftime deadlocked at 60. However, from there the Rockets continued their offensive clinic while the Blazers fell flat. The Blazers mustered just 38 points after halftime, failing to reach 100 points for the second time in their last three games. Unfortunately that meant no free McNuggets for anyone in attendance.
Trendon Watford’s Night is Cut Short
Trendon Watford showcased his full skill set in this contest. His 15 point, 10 rebound, and 5 assist tally extended his streak of double-digit performances to five straight and 12 of the last 13. His second career double-double included 9 points in a third quarter in which he seemed unstoppable. Unfortunately his night was cut short as he left the game with just over three minutes left in the game with an apparent knee injury.
Tale of Two Halves from Deep
The Blazers looked to be redeeming themselves for an atrocious shooting performance in their prior game, making 8 of 18 three-pointers in the first half. However, they fell flat out of the break. Portland hit just 4 of their 22 tries from deep in the second half, making their total for the game 12-40. The Blazers’ 30% success rate from deep just could not keep pace with the Rockets’ second straight stellar shooting night, good for 43% tonight.
Career Highs Galore
A match-up between two of the youngest active rosters in the league did not disappoint, with career highs being set left and right. Brandon Williams set a new career high with 8 assists, besting his previous mark of 7 in late February. Not to be overshadowed, Drew Eubanks set a new career high with 16 rebounds, blowing his previous high of 13 out of the water. On the other side of the court, Rockets’ rookie Alperen Sengun dominated the fourth quarter and finished with a game- and career-high of 27 points.
Something you may not have expected to hear coming out of a near 20-point loss: the Blazers dominated the Rockets on the boards. 51-38 was the final mark for the game. The Blazers won the battle off the offensive glass by a staggering 21-8 margin. The Blazers stayed in the game despite poor shooting from outside by turning those 13 extra offensive rebounds into a 23-9 advantage in second-chance points.
Sloppy Game All Around
The two teams combined for 41 turnovers and 57 points off of turnovers. With 20 TO’s from the Rockets and 21 from the Blazers, neither team could take care of the ball at all. The Rockets are worst in the league in turnovers per game with 16.6 on average, but this poor showing is much more of an outlier for the middle-of-the-pack Blazers. The leader was Watford, who registered 6 in an otherwise stellar night. He was not alone in his struggles. Keon Johnson, Kris Dunn, Dennis Schroder, and Christian Wood all finished with at least 4 turnovers of their own.
The Blazers take on the Thunder at Moda Center on Monday at 7:00 Pacific Time.