Rockets Dispatch Blazers, Creep Closer In Western Playoff Race

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Kyle Lowry finished with 21 points and 11 assists as the Houston Rockets handled the Portland Trail Blazers, 103-87, at Rose Garden.

Luis Scola posted 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field and Kevin Martin added 20 points for Houston, which has won five straight and six of its last seven games. The Rockets also ended a four-game skid in Portland, a place they hadn’t won in since April 3, 2008.

Nicolas Batum paced the Blazers with a game-high 22 points. LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace both added 14 points with Wallace grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds in the loss.

Portland has lost back-to-back games and finished a four-game residency 1-3.

The Rockets opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run, capped by six straight points from Chase Budinger, to take a 61-44 lead. The Rockets held their margin and Martin’s three-pointer at 4:24 widened it to 73-55.

The teams traded baskets down the stretch and Wesley Matthews’ free throws just before the third quarter buzzer cut the Houston lead to 83-68.

Martin and Lowry baskets — surrounding a Batum missed three-pointer — widened the Houston lead to a game-high 19, and the Rockets’ lead never fell below 14 throughout the duration.

Scola paced the Rockets with 10 points on 5-of-5 from the field in the first quarter as they held a 30-26 lead after one. Portland was held to 30 percent from the field in the second quarter as Houston widened its lead to 53-42 at the half.

Game Notes

Portland’s Andre Miller scored 13 points and dished out six assists…Budinger added 14 points for Houston…The Rockets held a 52-26 margin in low-post scoring…The Blazers went 16-of-20 from the foul line, compared to 7-of-11 for Houston…Batum was 5-of-5 from the line.

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