Green has 22, Rockets cruise to 125-106 win over Blazers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jalen Green had 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Houston Rockets built a big early lead before coasting to a 125-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
Jae’Sean Tate added 17 points as Houston snapped its 11-game losing streak on the road. The Rockets finished with 19 3-pointers.
It was the first of two games at the Moda Center against the Rockets on consecutive nights. Neither team is in the playoff picture.
“We came in with our mindset to get off this streak and we put a good game together from the start,” Tate said. “We’ve just got to get ready, we’ve got to see them again tomorrow and we know they’re gonna come out and compete. So we can celebrate this one, but we’ve got to get back to work.”
Trendon Watford had 19 points for the Blazers, who have won just two of their last 14 games. They were coming off a blowout 133-96 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday.
The Blazers trailed by as many as 24 points, but closed within 93-82 late in the third quarter. The lead still prompted Houston coach Stephen Silas to sit most of his starters for the final quarter. Josh Christopher’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter pushed Houston back up 102-82.
“Overall was a really good effort. We moved the ball, and we wanted to get a bunch of assists and we had 27, which is good,” Silas said. “We have to limit the turnovers, but for our young group, we have been in this position in — I don’t remember the last time — where we can just kind of start and get a really good lead and then hold on to the lead. “
Portland won the first two meetings of the season between the teams.
The Rockets, who have the NBA’s worst record, led by 18 points in the first quarter alone as Portland again struggled. The Blazers are playing with a patchwork roster with Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons all sitting out with injuries. All three watched from the bench in street clothes.
“Anytime, I don’t care what’s going on, anytime a team makes 19 3s on you it makes it tough. So it was a rough night from that standpoint,” Blazers first-year coach Chauncey Billups said.
KJ Martin dunked to give the Rockets a 49-32 lead and Houston went up 58-38 before the first half was over.
Watford led all scorers with 14 first-half points, but the Blazers still trailed 66-53 at the break.
With the road losing streak now in the past, the Rockets look to overcome a new hurdle: They haven’t won consecutive games since January.
“That’s gonna be a goal,” Tate said. “It’s been a while since we went back to back and we got a great opportunity again tomorrow.”
Rockets: Martin had 11 of his 13 first-half points in the second quarter alone. He finished with 16. … The Rockets have lost six of their last eight games. … Houston had seven players in double figures.
Trail Blazers: Portland on Thursday re-signed Drew Eubanks to a fourth 10-day contract, and guard Kris Dunn to a second 10-day contract. … Eubanks finished with 18 points. … Portland hit just three 3-pointers, a low for the season.
David Dalla Gasperina, a fan playing for $50,000 toward the purchase of a home, made a full-court putt during a break in the first half. The contest was sponsored by a local mortgage company.
The Blazers and the Rockets play the second of back-to-back games against each other on Saturday.
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