Rockets 126, Trail Blazers 113

With forward Chandler Parsons providing versatility in addition to a season-high point total, thehref=”” data-rapid_p=”8″>Houston Rockets followed an exceptional first half with an equally efficient second, topping the Portland Trail Blazers126-113 on Monday night at Toyota Center.


Parsons posted 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Rockets (28-15) fended off several Portland rallies, including a 7-0 spurt that closed the second quarter and set the stage for a tense final 24 minutes.


Even after Rockets guard James Harden buried a 3-pointer for a 113-95 lead with 8:18 to play, the Trail Blazers (31-10) fashioned a final rally before Parsons’ 3 extended the lead to 122-106 and sealed the win.


Rockets center Dwight Howard added 24 points and 12 rebounds while Harden totaled 22 points, six boards and five assists. Houston shot 52.3 percent from the floor, including 16 of 33 3-pointers.


Rockets guard Patrick Beverley made a triumphant return following a six-week inactive stint with 17 points and three assists in 28 minutes.


Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his second consecutive monster performance against Houston, following his 31-point, 25-rebound effort on Dec. 12 with 27 points and 20 rebounds. Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard scored 24 points while his backcourt mate, Wesley Matthews, added 18 points but missed seven of nine 3-point attempts.


The Rockets’ brilliant first-half shooting was reminiscent of their 73-point half against Oklahoma City last Thursday. Houston hit 10 of 13 treys prior to the intermission, with reserve forward Omri Casspi drilling all three of his attempts from behind the arc, including one with 90 seconds left that pushed the Rockets to their biggest lead at 71-49.


But Aldridge completed a three-point play as part of a 10-0 Portland run that bridged the two halves. When Harden hit a 3 to push the lead to 79-61, Portland reeled off a 9-0 run to cut the deficit under double digits.


That tone continued throughout the third period, the ebb and flow pushing the crowd to the brink of panic after Houston scored just 19 points in the second half of their loss to the Thunder. Portland wasn’t stout defensively, but its offensive talent proved especially dangerous.


NOTES: Among five-man lineups that have logged at least 200 minutes this season, the starters for the Rockets and Trail Blazers ranked third and fourth in the NBA in net rating at 12.7 and 11.4 points per 100 possessions, respectively, before Monday. But the difference in minutes is striking. Portland has utilized the same starting five in all 41 games (805 minutes) while Houston welcomed G Patrick Beverley back to its lineup having amassed just 245 minutes with its injury-ravaged starting unit. … Fresh off his career-high 36-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night, Rockets F Terrence Jones was inactive with a left thigh bruise. … Portland paces the league in offensive rating (110.6 points per 100 possessions) but is intent upon developing a positive reputation defensively. “We go into every game with a defensive game plan,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “We go into every game as a confident offensive team, but … it starts with our defense.”

Written by Nick


Nick the Quick White is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?

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