The Portland Trail Blazers defeated Houston Rockets tonight, 110-102, cutting the gap between them and the Memphis Grizzlies, to just one 1 1/2 game.
Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony played the most important roles in the crucial moments, scoring the final seven points for their team. The Blazers were up 103-102 when Lillard made just one of his two free-throws, and after James Harden‘s missed three on the other end, Antony delivered the most important basket of the game.
Carmelo sunk a three-pointer to lift his Blazers to a 107-102. The Rockets missed two downtown shots later, while on the other side, Lillard scored two and Anthony one free throw to seal the game.
Portland was leading throughout the entire game, with a few stops here and there. Early on in the second, Terry Stotts’ guys pulled away to 36-24, and that difference had been held up until halftime. Houston came back, but they didn’t take the lead at all, tying the game twice. With 4:06 to go, the result was 100-all, yet Rockets didn’t have the power to score another win.
One of the biggest reasons for that was Harden’s and Westbrook’s performances, as these two guys combined delivered 38 points. The Beard had 23 with 9 assists and six boards, shooting 7-for-17 from the field.
Meanwhile, Westbrook ended the game with just 15 buckets, nine assists as well, and 5-for-14 from the floor.
Jeff Green had 22 points, with six rebounds and five threes. Danuel House Jr scored 17.
Among the Blazers, Lillard had 21 and was one board and two assists short of a triple-double. McCollum had 20 with seven rebounds and five dimes, while Jusuf Nurkic dominated inside the paint, 18 points and 19 boards with three blocks. He was using the Rockets’ small ball basketball in the best possible way.
Portland sneaking into the playoffs? 👀 pic.twitter.com/5yrTqIY404
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 5, 2020
Carmelo scored 15 buckets and 11 rebounds, while Gary Trent ended the night with 16 points. The Trail Blazers outrebounded the rivals 64-39.
Portland now has 31 wins and 38 losses and is ninth in the West, half a game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, and one game in front of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Up next, they face the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.
Houston is fourth with 42 wins and 25 losses, tied with the Utah Jazz and half a game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are going against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.