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Aldridge's big night spurs Blazers past Rockets
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge had just two points on 1- of-7 shooting through the first 20 minutes.
The final 28 minutes was arguably the best basketball he's ever played.
Aldridge had 31 points and 25 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Houston Rockets 111-104 on Thursday night.
Aldridge was 11-of-15 from the field over the last 28 minutes for Portland, which has won six of its last seven tilts and cracked the 100-point mark for the 10th straight time.
"This was a 'we needed a win' night for me," Aldridge said. "I felt tonight."
Robin Lopez added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Wesley Matthews netted 18 points in the triumph.
Dwight Howard tallied 32 points and 17 boards for the Rockets, who had won seven of their last nine games coming in. James Harden had 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds in defeat.
The game was tied 76-76 after three quarters of play, but Portland scored the first 10 points of the fourth to surge ahead as a Lopez layup made it 86-76.
Later, Howard's driving hook shot and Harden's three-point play whittled the deficit to 97-95 with 4:45 left before Portland put the game away with an 11-1 spurt.
"It seemed like every time we would close the gap, they came down and got a great shot," Howard said.
Aldridge and Matthews had back-to-back three-point plays to cap the swing and give the hosts a healthy 108-96 advantage with 2:05 remaining.
Earlier, Portland led 21-20 heading into the second, but Houston held a 44-43 edge at the break.
Rockets head coach Kevin McHale wasn't with the squad due to the death of his mother. Assistant head coach Kelvin Sampson ran the team Thursday.
Aldridge became the first Portland player to record four 20-point and 20- rebound games ... The Blazers moved to 10-2 at home ... Portland is 17-0 when tied or leading after three quarters.
12/13 02:58:11 ET