HOUSTON, USA – Houston, we have a problem. And his name is LaMarcus Aldridge.
The All-star power forward Aldridge exploded for a Portland playoff record 46 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 122-120 overtime win over the Houston Rockets. Aldridge also added 18 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
Damian Lillard added 31 points with nine rebounds and five assists, draining two free throws with 17 seconds left in the extra period to give Portland a 121-120 lead.
James Harden then missed a three-pointer and Rockets center Dwight Howard was called for a loose-ball foul on Joel Freeland.
Freeland missed his first free-throw but made the second to make it 122-120 for Portland.
Harden had a last chance for the Rockets, but his awkward jump shot as time expired bounced off the back of the rim.
Harden and Howard scored 27 points apiece for the Rockets, but Harden was also off-target with a turnaround jump shot as time expired in regulation, which finished with score knotted at 106-106.
Houston scored the first six points of overtime, but Portland responded with back-to-back three-pointers from Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. Wesley Matthews then made two free-throws to give the Trail Blazers their first lead since the second quarter.
“I thought the game had a lot of ebb and flow to it,” said Portland coach Terry Stotts.
“We knew we had to win at least one here, and so we’ve done that. We’re not by any means satisfied, we’ve got a lot of work cut out for us. But we knew we had to win at least one here. We put ourselves in a position to win – we were able to eke it out,” Stotts said. – Rappler.com