(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets will try to get past their loss to the
defending champion Miami Heat on Friday night when they host the Portland
The Rockets had won two in a row and made some history during the streak.
Against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, the Rockets matched an NBA
record with 23 made 3-pointers en route to a 140-109 drubbing.
The next night, Houston headed to South Beach and hung in with the Heat. The
Rockets didn't have enough, squandered some late opportunities and fell
If there was a silver lining in defeat, it was the play of first-time All-
Star James Harden. He scored a game-high 36 points on 10-for-16 shooting and
4-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Harden grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out
seven assists and had three steals.
"He had a great defender on him and he still had a great game," head coach
Kevin McHale said of his All-Star guard. "He's a helluva basketball player. He
can make shots, he's a tough kid, he rebounded his (butt) off out there and
did a lot of good stuff."
All five Rockets starters scored in double figures and center Omer Asik also
pulled down 14 rebounds.
After Friday's tilt with the Blazers, the Rockets head west for three games in
a four-day span, starting Sunday.
The Blazers will play their third of six straight away from home on Friday.
They are 1-1 thus far on the excursion with a win on Monday over the Minnesota
Timberwolves and a loss on Wednesday at Dallas.
Against the Mavericks, the Blazers were outscored 25-17 in the fourth quarter
en route to a 105-99 loss.
"Well, it was a good game. It could have gone either way," said Blazers coach
Terry Stotts. "They came up with some rebounds, they made shots when they
needed to, and it was a well-played game by both teams, but they made the
plays when they needed to."
It was a well-played game as the teams only combined for 14 turnovers, six of
which came from Portland and three of those belonged to center J.J. Hickson.
All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Hickson
also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Wesley Matthews had 21
points and Damian Lillard netted 19.
The Blazers have won five of their last eight, but are 1-3 in their last four
on the road.
Portland has won both of this season's matchups with Houston, including a
95-85 overtime victory in Houston on Nov. 3. A 119-117 victory in the Rose
City on Nov. 16 also needed an extra period.
The Sports Network