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NBA playoffs: Howard’s big game helps Rockets stay alive vs. Blazers

Houston center nets 22 points; Lin ads 21 off the bench.

First Published Apr 30 2014 10:47 pm • Last Updated Apr 30 2014 11:14 pm

Houston • Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin came off the bench to score 21 points and help the Houston Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-98 on Wednesday night to avoid elimination.

The Trail Blazers lead the first-round series 3-2 entering Game 6 on Friday in Portland.

At a glance

Rockets 108, Blazers 98

Portland 27 21 29 21 — 98

Houston 30 26 26 26 — 108

PORTLAND (98)

Batum 6-10 2-2 15, Aldridge 3-12 2-4 8, Lopez 7-14 3-6 17, Lillard 9-18 5-5 26, Matthews 9-18 4-4 27, Wright 0-2 1-2 1, Williams 2-7 0-0 4, Robinson 0-2 0-0 0, McCollum 0-0 0-0 0, Freeland 0-0 0-0 0, Barton 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals 36-83 17-23 98.

HOUSTON (108)

Parsons 8-22 1-2 20, Asik 5-12 0-0 10, Howard 9-15 4-6 22, Beverley 2-5 0-0 5, Harden 5-15 6-7 17, Lin 9-15 1-1 21, Jones 4-5 0-0 8, Daniels 1-2 2-2 5.

Totals 36-83 17-23 98.

3-Point Goals—Portland 9-25 (Matthews 5-9, Lillard 3-8, Batum 1-4, Wright 0-2, Williams 0-2), Houston 8-25 (Parsons 3-8, Lin 2-5, Daniels 1-2, Beverley 1-3, Harden 1-7). Fouled Out—Asik. Rebounds—Portland 43 (Lopez, Lillard, Aldridge 8), Houston 62 (Asik 15). Assists—Portland 14 (Lillard 7), Houston 23 (Harden 7). Total Fouls—Portland 21, Houston 21. Technicals—Houston defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls—Lopez. A—18,230 (18,023).

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A basket by Damian Lillard got the Trail Blazers within two points before James Harden stepped back and swished a 3-pointer to make it 103-98 with about three minutes left. The shot brought the crowd, which was clad almost completely in red shirts emblazoned with the words "Clutch City" on them, to its feet.

That started a 12-0 Houston run to close it out. Harden finished with 17 points and seven assists.

Houston finally slowed down LaMarcus Aldridge, limiting him to eight points, after he averaged 35.3 points in the first four games. Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 27 points and Lillard added 26.

Lin got extended minutes on Wednesday night with Pat Beverley dealing with an illness. Beverley had five points in 21 minutes.

The Rockets led by as many as 17 points in the first half. Portland cut it to one point three times in the fourth quarter, but never went back on top.

Terrence Jones added a basket for Houston after the big 3 by Harden before Howard got after Aldridge on the other end. He blocked his short jump shot, sending it out of bounds. Portland got the ball back and Aldridge got the ball again, but he badly missed a shot with Howard in his face as the shot clock expired, leaving Aldridge yelling for a foul.

The Rockets were up by nine early in the fourth quarter after four quick points from Lin before Portland used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 91-90 with 7:39 remaining.




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