For the second consecutive game, LaMarcus Aldridge scored over 40 points and for the second consecutive game, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Houston Rockets on the road, this time winning 112-105 to take a 2-0 series lead.
Aldridge finished with 43 points on 18-of-28 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. Damian Lillard had a rough night from the field, shooting three-of-14, but still managed to score 18 points, dish out 11 assists and and grab eight rebounds.
With just 2:47 to play, the Blazers held a nine-point lead. The Rockets used a 5-o run to cut the lead to four and again trailed by just four with 39 seconds to go. On the ensuing possession, James Harden fell asleep getting back on defense and Wesley Matthews got wide open for an easy layup. After a three-pointer by Harden and two free throws from Lillard, an offensive foul call on Harden all but ended the game.
The Rockets got off to a nice start, taking a 31-23 lead into the second quarter, powered by Dwight Howard’s 19 first quarter points. By halftime, when the Blazers had tied things up, Howard had 25 points and eight rebounds, but he scored just seven points in the second half. After starting the game by hitting eight of his first nine shots, he made only five of his last 13, finishing with 32 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
Harden had another forgettable night, scoring 18 points on six-of-19 shooting. He turned the ball over five times and fouled out of the game. Harden is now 14-of-47 from the field in the series.
The game turned late in the third quarter. After the Rockets had erased a nine-point deficit to take a 75-74 lead, the Blazers ended the quarter on a 9-2 run and took a six point lead into the fourth quarter.
Game 3 is Friday night in Portland at 10:30 pm EST and is on ESPN.
Game 1: Blazers 122, Rockets 120 (OT)