Aldridge, Blazers too much for Rockets

Aldridge, Blazers too much for Rockets
December 13, 2013, 12:30 am
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Rockets fall to Blazers 111-104

(Steve Dykes - USA Today Sports Images)

There was no lack of fight in the Rockets as they faced the best team in the Western Conference on their floor in Portland on Thursday night. The problem was they had no answer for LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 31 points and grabbed 25 rebounds to help Portland defeat Houston, 111-104.

Dwight Howard had 32 points and 17 rebounds and the Rockets got 25 points from James Harden, but it still wasn't enough.

Houston played this game without head coach Kevin McHale who is away from the team after his mother passed away on Tuesday night. Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson was acting head coach for the game. It's the same role he had last season for 13 games when McHale was away from the team when his daughter was ill and then passed away of complications from lupus.

Pat Beverley corralled a career-high 11 rebounds and helped harass Blazers point guard Damian Lillard into a 1-of-10 shooting performance.

The Blazers, as they have been most of the season, were much better in the second half. They scored just 43 points in the first half and were down 44-43. They scored 68 points in the second half.

Lin returns
Jeremy Lin returned to action, after missing the last six games with a right knee sprain. He did not have much success. He picked up two fouls in the first quarter and just looked a little rusty. He had five points on 1-of-4 shooting in just 15 minutes of action.

The game was over when
The Blazers opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run. With Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons on the bench to start the quarter. They rested only 1:50 before they all checked back in. The Rockets did close within 2 with just under five minutes to go, but the Blazers exteneded the lead back out to 12 just about three minutes later and that was the Rockets last gasp

Next up
Houston will be at Golden State on Friday night. It's the second of three meetings between the two teams. Houston Beat Golden State last Friday night in Houston, 105-83. Houston held Golden State to 35.5 percent shooting, which is their worst performance of the season. The Rockets have won 10 of the last 13 games against the Warriors, including two in a row at Golden State.