Rockets Vs. Trailblazers: Houston Defeats Portland 103-96

Houston continues their six game road trip through the west with a stop in Portland, where the Blazers are 11-2 at home this season.

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Rockets Vs. Trail Blazers Score: Houston Takes 60-46 Lead Into Halftime

The Houston Rockets used a big second quarter to take a 60-46 lead over the Portland Trail Blazers at halftime. The Rockets used a balanced offensive attack in the first half with at least five players scoring nine points. The Rockets lead despite a tough first half from leading scorer Kevin Martin who has just two points at the break.

Chase Budinger came off the bench to lead the Rockets with 13 points. Luis Scola added 10 points while Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee and Patrick Patterson all finished with nine. Houston hit 59 percent of its shot attempts in the first half including 7-12 shooting from three-point range. Houston recorded 20 assists on 26 made buckets in the first half.

Portland shot the ball well in the first half also but turned the ball over 12 times and wasn't able to slow down the Rockets on the defensive end of the floor. Raymond Felton leads the Blazers with nine points at the half. Gerald Wallace and Jamal Crawford each finished with eight at the intermission.

For more on the Houston Rockets, be sure to visit The Dream Shake. For Portland Trailblazers news and info, go to Blazer's Edge. For all you NBA news and notes, check out SB Nation's NBA page.

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NBA MVP 2012 Power Rankings: Kyle Lowry The All-Star, The MVP Candidate

The Houston Rockets are 14-11 this season and 11-4 since January 11th. While Houston can attribute some of their success to the newly installed frontcourt duo of Luis Scola and Samuel Dalembert, the tutelage of Kevin McHale and role players like Chase Budinger taking their games to new levels, the biggest shift in the team has been the emergence of Kyle Lowry as their starting point guard.

Lowry was the next in line after Aaron Brooks left the Rockets, now starting full-time the point guard from Villanova is being considered for an all-star spot:

"It would mean a lot," said Lowry, who is averaging 14.9 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals. "It’s very humbling to even be considered in that type of category. It’s a testament to how hard I worked and what I put into my game to try to be the best I can be at all times. If I made it, it would be a big accomplishment. I would be ecstatic. I would be really, really happy. You wouldn’t even understand how happy I’d be. If I didn’t, I’d understand. It just wasn’t my time."

Lowry is also beginning to be recognized for lifting his team to new heights, as he continues to stick on Tom Ziller's MVP Rankings. Lowry is No. 7 this week:

7. Kyle Lowry Rockets 16.5 points on .564 TS%, 8.7 assists, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals 10
The Rockets are now reflecting Lowry's genius, riding a hot streak into the playoff seeds. If Lowry and Kevin Martin can carry Houston all of the way into the postseason in Kevin McHale's first full season as a head coach, a whole lot of crow will be eaten around the league.

For more on the Houston Rockets, be sure to visit The Dream Shake. For Portland Trailblazers news and info, go to Blazer's Edge. For all you NBA news and notes, check out SB Nation's NBA page.

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Rockets Vs. Trailblazers: Game Preview, TV Info And More

Houston continues their six game road trip through the west with a stop in Portland, where the Blazers are 11-2 at home this season.

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