Blazers hold down Houston
All five starters scored in double figures and the Trail Blazers held James Harden to a season-low 13 points in a 117-107 victory Wednesday night at Toyota Center.
Damian Lillard had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and CJ McCollum finished with 24 points and six assists as Portland (18-24) won its second straight game.
Hassan Whiteside (18 points, 17 rebounds), Carmelo Anthony (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Kent Bazemore (12 points, nine boards) had big games for the Blazers, who led most of the way.
Russell Westbrook picked up a triple-double with 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but the big news for Houston (26-14) was the ineffectiveness of Harden, who entered the game averaging 38.9 points. With the Blazers double-teaming him at every opportunity, the 6-5 guard made only 3 of 12 shots from the field, including 1 of 6 from 3-point range.
Portland won despite making only 11 of 36 attempts from the 3-point line (.306).
The Blazers held a 24-18 lead late in the first quarter, but the Rockets closed to within 28-26 heading into the second quarter. Portland was 1 for 9 from 3-point range over the first 12 minutes.
Portland seized a 56-42 advantage late in the second quarter. The difference was 60-47 at the half. The Blazers led despite making only 4 of 15 shots from beyond the arc. Houston was only 7 for 28. Lillard had only seven points and Harden eight at the break.
Lillard scored 12 straight Portland points to keep the Blazers ahead 76-65 midway through the third quarter. The margin grew to 88-71. It was 90-77 heading into the final period.
Portland's edge was 102-88 when the Rockets went on a 12- run to cut it to 105-100 with five minutes remaining, but Anthony and McCollum knocked down back-to-back 3's to make it 111-100. Houston got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
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