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Preview: Trail Blazers Target Trifecta Against Rockets

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.5

    The Portland Trail Blazers will host the Houston Rockets on Tuesday and look to do something they haven’t done in over 19 seasons. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

    It's been nearly two decades since the Trail Blazers (33-26) have swept the Rockets (30-31), but in the Tuesday matchup, Portland can get its first sweep since the 1990-91 season, when they took the series 4-0.

    On Sunday, Marcus Camby returned for Portland on the same night that Gerald Wallace made his debut hosting Atlanta. Jamal Crawford scored 23 points off the bench for the Hawks as the malfunctioning Trail Blazers loss 90-83.

    Andre Miller led Portland with 20 points, seven rebounds and team-high four assists in the loss as the team was outrebounded 49-34 and shot 39 percent from the field and 4-of-21 from three-range. 

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 12 points and Wallace led the bench production with nine points and five rebounds in his first game as a Trail Blazer. Camby had six rebounds.

    Portland has already claimed the series over Houston after the 103-100 win on the road on Jan. 5, when Aldridge, who has totaled 52 points and 24 boards in the two meetings, finished with a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds.

    The last time Portland marked a series win over Houston was during the 2002-03 season, when it finished 3-1.  

    On Jan. 5, six other Trail Blazers ended with double-digit scoring, including Patty Mills, who set a career-high 14 points, Rudy Fernandez, 12, Andre Miller, 11, Nicolas Batum, Marcus Camby and the former Trail Blazer Dante Cunningham, 10.   

    Aldridge has averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds against Houston this season.

    The Rockets’ guard Kevin Martin notched a season-high 45 points on 13-of-18 shooting, including a season-best six 3-pointers, and made 13-of-15 free throws in the Jan. 5 loss.

    Houston has won fourth straight behind three 30-point games from Martin, including the 91-89 road victory over New Orleans on Sunday. 

    Martin completed 8-of-15 from the floor for 33 points, including four threes, and hit all 13 free throws. Kyle Lowry had 18 points and Chuck Hayes hauled in a team-high 11 rebounds.  

    Houston has scored over the 100 mark in eight of its last nine meetings, while Portland, which has scored at least 100 in the two matchups against the Rockets, has surpassed the century mark in seven of its previous nine.

    The Trail Blazers have beaten the Rockets at home in the last four matchups and has bettered Houston in second-chance points, 31-16, and steals, 22-11, this season.   

    Greg Oden and Elliot Williams will not play for Portland due to knee-related injuries. Fernandez is list as doubtful after treating flu symptoms at the hospital.  

    Watch the Trail Blazers in action on Comcast SportsNet Channel 37 with Mike Barrett and Mike Rice, and listen to the live play-by-play from Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on 95.5 FM The Game. 

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