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Author
Kristie Rieken
Date
January 21, 2014

Rockets end Blazers’ streak with 126-113 win

HOUSTON (AP) — Chandler Parsons scored a season-high 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 126-113 win over Portland on Monday night that snapped the Trail Blazers’ five-game winning streak.

The Rockets won their second straight, building a big lead early and answering every time Portland made a run.

James Harden added 22 points and had five assists and Patrick Beverley returned from a broken hand to score 17 points. Parsons added 10 rebounds and seven assists while finishing one point shy of his career-high.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 20 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won seven of their last 11 games.

Houston was up by 18 points after a 3-pointer by Harden with about eight minutes left. The Trail Blazers used a 9-2 run over the next two minutes to cut it to 115-104. The Rockets struggled in that stretch, missing two layups and committing a turnover.

Houston missed two 3-pointers on one possession after that before Beverley hit a jump shot. Howard gave Houston a 119-104 lead when he grabbed an alley-oop from Harden and finished with a two-handed slam.

Damian Lillard added 24 points for Portland and Wesley Matthews had 18.

A 7-0 run by Portland midway through the third quarter got the Trail Blazers within six points. The Rockets scored the next seven straight to pad their lead to 93-80.

Jeremy Lin made a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 106-91 entering the fourth quarter.

Harden was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws before hitting a 3-pointer for a 6-0 run for Houston that pushed the lead to 79-61 early in the third quarter.

The Trail Blazers answered with a 9-0 spurt to cut the lead to 79-70. Aldridge had a 3-point play during that stretch and Lillard capped it with two free throws when he was fouled by Howard and Howard also got a technical on the play.

Aldridge got cut on the right arm and was bleeding before Lillard’s free throws, and the officials called a timeout so a trainer could bandage the injury.

The Rockets scored for the first time in almost three minutes on a layup by Parsons with about seven minutes left in the quarter. Nicolas Batum made a layup before Parsons added a 3-pointer to extend Houston’s lead to 84-72.

Mo Williams got Portland within seven points when he opened the second quarter with a jump shot. But Houston countered with eight straight points powered by two 3-pointers from Omri Casspi to push the lead to 45-30.

Five straight points by Matthews a couple of minutes later cut Houston’s lead to 12 points. The Rockets responded again, scoring seven points in a row to extend the lead to 60-41.

Casspi scored five quick points soon after that to extend Houston’s lead to 71-49. Portland scored the last seven points of the half to get within 71-56 at the break.

The Rockets made 10 of 13 3-pointers in the first half to help them to score more than 70 points in a half for the second time in a week.

Houston scored on its first 11 possessions to build a 25-11 lead. Beverley, who returned to the starting lineup after missing 14 games following surgery to repair a broken right hand, had two 3-pointers in that span and Harden had one.

NOTES: Houston’s Terrence Jones, who scored a career-high 36 points in the last game, sat out with a deep thigh bruise. Donatas Motiejunas started in his place and finished with nine points and nine rebounds. … The Trail Blazers have scored at least 98 points in 29 games in a row.

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