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Portland suffers second consecutive loss

  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    The Portland Trail Blazers dropped their second consecutive game Monday, falling 94-89 to the Houston Rockets in front of 20,487 at the Rose Garden.

    Both teams started cold, combining to miss the first 11 field goal attempts before Courtney Lee broke the stalemate with a three-pointer to put Houston (32-25) on the board.

    Wesley Matthews responded with a triple on the other end to tie the score and LaMarcus Aldridge put the Trail Blazers ahead 5-3 moments later. It would be the Trail Blazers last lead of the contest, as Portland (27-31) continued its poor shooting while Houston heated up from long range.

    The Rockets led 24-17 after the first quarter and extended to 49-40 at the break behind 7-of-11 from three-point range while the Trail Blazers finished the half 14-of-44 from the field (31.8 percent), including 3-of-12 from beyond the arc.

    "A very hard lesson for us to learn, but a very valuable one – we have to understand that we have to get it on the defensive end of the floor, not the offensive end of the floor," said Portland coach Kaleb Canales. "We didn’t play consistent defense for 48 minutes tonight."

    A 9-0 run by Portland to open the second half tied the game 49-49 and the game was tied again at 53-53 but Portland couldn't gain the advantage, slipping back to a double-digit deficit before cutting the lead to six by the end of the third quarter.

    The Rockets extended that lead to as many as 13 points in the final stanza, though the Trail Blazers would chip away for the final margin.

    "We definitely were in the game. We just kind of got flat and their guys didn’t miss too many threes," Aldridge said. 'We tried to give help with their penetration and then they would kick it out to the corner for threes. Give credit to them. They didn’t miss too many threes down the stretch."

    Aldridge led Portland with 20 points and six rebounds while adding two assists, two rebounds and two blocks. Jamal Crawford was next in scoring with 18 points.

    JJ Hickson notched Portland's lone double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Hickson has now reached double-figure scoring in seven of his 11 games with the Trail Blazers.

    Goran Dragic led all scorers with 22 points and seven assists, while Marcus Camby celebrated his return to the Rose Garden with nine points, 11 rebounds for the Rockets.

    Portland takes on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Rose Garden. The game can be seen locally on KGW (Channel 8) and nationally on ESPN. 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.


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