PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the second time in three games, the Rockets and Blazers couldn't shake each other for 48 minutes and headed to overtime. But for the first time in three games, the Rockets got the win, 121-116, behind 37 points from James Harden and a late stone-cold 3-pointer from Troy Daniels in the game's waning moments.
Houston had the ball with under 30 seconds left and nearly lost the ball, but Jeremy Lin scrambled over Mo Williams and somehow found rookie Daniels behind the 3-point line with the shot-clock winding down. With no hesitation, the young rookie launched a 3-pointer that found it's mark. The Rockets withstood a Nicolas Batum 3-point miss at the other end and Pat Beverley tipped the rebound to Daniels and the Rockets could finally taste victory in this series.
Harden led the Rockets with 37 points and Daniels had nine points off the bench, all coming on 3-pointers. Dwight Howard finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds and helped hold LaMarcus Aldridge to 23 points on just 8-of-22 shooting.
As has been the case for the entire series so far, the Blazers continued to have all the right answers for the Rockets. The Rockets built a 12-point lead, 38-26, early in the second quarter when Daniels, appearing in this series for the first time, nailed his first 3-pointer. Houston was 6-of-11 on 3-pointers at the time, after coming into the game having made just 11-of-51 3-pointers in the first two games of the series in Houston.
Then the Blazers came storming back. Houston would miss their next 11 shots, with the Blazers blocking three of those attempts right at the rim. Meanwhile, Portland drained 7-of-12 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers from Damian Lillard. Also during the 4:24 barrage, Portland grabbed five offensive rebounds - meaning they corralled all five of their misses.
The game was over when
After Batum missed the Blazers 3-point attempt to tie, Harden got the ball from Daniels, was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to produce the final 121-116 margin.
Numbers of the night
James Harden had just 11 points in the first half, but finished with 37 points, 9 rebounds and six assists.
Game 4 of the Rockets opening round playoff series against the Blazers is set for Sunday night at 8:30 p.m.