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Trail Blazers 123, Rockets 120 (OT)

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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PORTLAND, Ore. — Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum scored five consecutive points in overtime, leading Portland to a 123-120 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night at the Moda Center.

Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who took a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series that continues Wednesday night at Houston.

Batum collected 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, guard Damian Lillard contributed 23 points and eight assists, and guard Wesley Matthews scored 21 points for the Blazers.

Guard James Harden scored 28 points, forward Chandler Parsons added 26 points and eight rebounds, and center Dwight Howard finished with 25 points and 14 boards for the Rockets.

Batum’s five straight points snapped a 110-110 tie, and the Blazers never trailed again.

The overtime started with a Houston turnover and a flagrant foul committed by Parsons on Aldridge, who sank two at the line for a 108-106 lead. Howard responded with a hook shot and it was tied at 108-108.

Matthews pushed Portland ahead 110-108 with a pair of free throws. Howard reciprocated at the other end for a 110-110 tie.

Batum scored on a driving scoop shot, then followed with a 3-pointer for a 115-110 advantage with 2:34 left.

Lillard scored on a drive, but Howard answered with a dunk to make it 117-112. Aldridge’s 18-footer upped the advantage to 119-112, but unflappable Houston rookie guard Troy Daniels sank a 3-pointer to close it to 119-115 with 1:30 remaining. When Harden hit a baseline jumper, it was 119-117.

Portland turned the ball over, but Harden’s 3-pointer for the lead missed, and the Blazers rebounded. Lillard was fouled and drained two at the line for a 121-117 lead with 17.0 seconds to go.

Aldridge missed two foul shots, and Bailey was fouled attempting a 3-pointer. He sank all three free throws, and the Blazers’ lead was at 121-120 with 8.9 ticks left.

Portland guard Mo Williams was fouled and made both free throws for a 123-120 lead. The Rockets motored upcourt, but guard Patrick Beverley was stripped of the ball by Matthews, and the clock ran out.

Portland led 102-97 with 2:50 to go in regulation, but Howard sank three of four free throws to close the gap to 102-100 with 2:10 left.

Howard made blocks at the rim on the Blazers’ next two possessions, and Harden knocked down a pair at the line to tie the score at 102-102 with 1:11 remaining.

After Aldridge missed a reverse layup, Harden was fouled and made two more free throws, giving the Rockets a 104-102 lead with 50.9 seconds on the clock.

On Portland’s next possession, Batum missed a 3-point attempt. Houston rebounded, but the ball was knocked away in a scramble. It wound up in the hands of Blazer guard Mo Williams, who buried a 3-pointer for a 105-104 advantage with 18.2 seconds to play.

After a timeout, Harden drove and his shot was blocked by Aldridge. Portland forward Dorell Wright rebounded and was fouled with 8.3 seconds left. He missed the first foul shot, made the second for a 106-104 edge.

Harden drove again and fed Howard for a dunk, tying it at 106-106 with 3.6 seconds left. Williams’ long 3-point attempt missed as clock expired, and it was on to overtime.

Parsons scored 19 points and Houston dominated the paint en route to a 61-51 halftime lead. The Rockets won the boards 27-17, outscored the Blazers 14-4 in second-chance points and made 7 of 15 3-point shots through intermission.

Batum had 12 points for Portland, which made only three of 11 from beyond the arc in the half.

Houston built the lead to 71-60 midway through the third quarter but Lillard’s 3-pointer at the buzzer closed Portland to within 84-79 heading into the final period.

The Blazers sliced the margin to 86-84, but the Rockets responded with a 6-0 run to take a 92-84 advantage with 8:31 remaining. Portland closed again to 94-91, and Lillard’s 3-pointer tied the count at 94-94 with 5:50 to play. Harden answered with a 3-point shot as the shot clock expired, giving Houston a 97-94 edge.

Parsons got off to a hot start, scoring 12 first-quarter points to stake Houston a 29-23 lead. Parsons and Daniels — who made three straight 3-point shots — helped jack the difference to 40-30 early in the second quarter. It was 59-48 late in the quarter before Houston settled for a 10-point advantage at the break.

NOTES: Portland and Houston met for the eighth time this season Sunday — four times in the regular season, four in the playoffs — and each team scored more than 100 points in every game. … Houston had 72 offensive rebounds in the series, including 14 Sunday. “That’s an area that has consistently given us trouble,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said before the game. … The Rockets started C Omer Asik alongside C Dwight Howard in the front line, as they did in Game 3. … Rockets G James Harden scored a playoff career-high 37 points, but on 35 shots, in Game 3. He is 36-for-103 from the field in the series, including 11-for-41 from 3-point range. … The road team won each of the first three games in the series.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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