Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers tip-off road trip with win in Houston

Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers tip-off road trip with win in Houston

HOUSTON — Wednesday night’s game between the Trail Blazers and Rockets tipped off after 8:30pm local time.

The late start seemed to favor the Trail Blazers, especially to start the game. Portland jumped out to a 22-18 lead midway through the first quarter.

The Blazers brought the energy and made sure to exhaust a Rockets team that had lost on the road the night before.

Once the Rockets converted from three in the fourth quarter, the Blazers weren’t able to keep their double digit lead midway through the period.

However, Portland’s hot field goal percentage accompanied by the Blazers crashing the boards early and often, Portland was able to steal a win on the road.
FINAL BOX SCORE: TRAIL BLAZERS 117, ROCKETS 107

Here are three quick takeaways from Wednesday’s win:

1.  Blazers slow down Rockets

During his pregame interview, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed how the Rockets are a much faster-paced team with Russell Westbrook; however, Wednesday night the Blazers seemed to slow down Houston. At the break, the Rockets had zero fastbreak points on six opportunities.

Portland has had its fair share of issues on the defensive end this season, but the Blazers were able to come together on that end of the floor on Wednesday. The Trail Blazers were communicating and rotating fairly quickly on the perimeter. Houston was still able to get a handful of wide-open threes, yet they were having a hard time hitting from deep all night.  

The Blazers limited James Harden to just 12 attempts on the night thanks in part to Kent Bazemore‘s pesky defense. Harden finished with 13 points.  Westbrook still got his shots though. He went 11-for-22 from the field to finish with 31.

2.  Melo’s return to Houston

With Carmelo Anthony‘s time in Houston a total of 10 games last season, he was still greeted with cheers from Rockets fans during pregame introductions. However, the cheers were not nearly as loud as many other arenas Melo has visited this season.

The 35-year-old did give Blazers fans plenty to cheer about though. Melo exploited the mismatches down low. The 17-year veteran finished with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds.

3.  Lillard on the attack

Early on, Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside had a good two-man game going. As the game went on Lillard attacked the rim more. In turn, he got to the free throw line. Heading into the fourth quarter, Lillard was a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.

Up Next: The Trail Blazers continue their three-game road trip Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Blazers and Mavs will tip-off at 6:30pm PT on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.

Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players

Instant Analysis: Trail Blazers tip-off road trip with win in Houston originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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January 15, 2020 at 09:51PM

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