Behind 29 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks from LaMarcus Aldridge, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Houston Rockets 123-120 in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead.
Aldridge was one of four Blazers to score over 20 points – Nicolas Batum had 25 points, six assists and six rebounds, Damian Lillard scored 23 points and dished out eight assists and Wesley Matthews finished with 21 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists.
The Blazers used a 7-0 run in overtime to seemingly take control of the game, but the Rockets struck back with a 7-2 run. Trailing 123-120, thanks to six overtime points from Troy Daniels, Patrick Beverley had the ball stolen by Matthews and time ran out.
James Harden had 28 points, six assists and four rebounds to lead the Rockets while Chandler Parsons scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Dwight Howard had 25 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks and Daniels, the hero of game 3, scored 17 points in just 21 minutes.
With the Rockets leading 94-88 with 6:41 to play, the Blazers staged a 14-3 run with a Harden three-pointer at the 5:28 mark being the only bucket for the Rockets, to take a 102-97 lead. The Rockets responded by scoring seven straight points of their own, largely thanks to the defense of Howard, who blocked two shots at the rim during the run. However, a Mo Williams’ three after he stripped the ball from Jeremy Lin gave the Blazers the lead once again. After Dorrell Wright hit one of two free throws, Harden found Howard for a dunk to tie the game. Williams had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but his shot went long.
The Rockets’ offense was outstanding in the first half, piling up 61 first half points to take a 10-point advantage into the break. Although the Blazers kept threatening to take the lead in the third quarter, the Rockets kept the lead around eight for a majority of the quarter until Lillard’s buzzer-beating three-pointer (which you can see here) cut the lead to five heading into the fourth quarter.
Game 5 from the Toyota Center in Houston is Wednesday night at 9:30 pm EST and is on TNT.