NBA Game Summary - Houston at Portland
(Tuesday, October 27th)
Final Score: Portland 96, Houston 87
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Travis Outlaw came off the bench to pour in 23 points and Greg Oden was a force defensively in Portland's 96-87 season- opening win over the injury-riddled Houston Rockets.
Brandon Roy tallied 20 points, Martell Webster 14 and LaMarcus Aldridge 11 for the Trail Blazers. Oden had just two points, but pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked five shots.
"My shot wasn't going in and I didn't take too many shots, so hustle plays (made the difference)," said Oden. "Everybody has to do their part out there and we definitely need guys to make those hustle plays. I think I did that tonight."
It was a rematch from last year's playoffs, but Houston was minus one of its big participants in All-Star center Yao Ming. He's out the entire season due to a fractured bone in his left foot. Also, Tracy McGrady is expected to miss at least the first half of the season due to left knee surgery.
Aaron Brooks led the Rockets with 19 points, but Houston's frontcourt of Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes combined for just 17 points. Trevor Ariza, acquired in the offseason following the departure of Ron Artest to the Lakers, chipped in 12 points.
"Size hurt us," said Rockets coach Rick Adelman. "Obviously, they had 12 blocks, we had opportunities, penetrations and kicks, and they still got their hand on the ball, that's a real factor. We've got to try and finish better than we did tonight."
Kyle Lowry also scored 12 and David Andersen finished with 11 for the Rockets, who struggled by shooting 37 percent from the field.
Houston dispatched Portland in six games in the opening round of the playoffs, but the Blazers raced to a quick lead Tuesday night and used a 51-33 rebounding advantage to hold off the Rockets.
The teams were tied at 23 after 12 minutes, but Portland scored the first 11 of the second and never relinquished the lead from that point. Outlaw's alley-oop jam off a feed from new Blazers guard Andre Miller started the rally. Outlaw then hit a three-pointer and jammed before a pair of free throws from Webster and Miller culminated the push.
The lead went to as high as 16 later in the second and a three-pointer by Steve Blake had the Blazers ahead 54-41 at the break.
"The second quarter kind of got away from us," said Brooks. "They got off to a big lead and we were fighting trying to get back."
Outlaw's three-pointer made it 72-52 with 1:21 left in the third and the margin stood at 75-56 moving to the fourth.
The Rockets were able to cut into the deficit, thanks in part to some gritty play from rookie Chase Budinger. His driving jam had the visitors within 89-81 with 2:45 left. Miller then missed a jumper and a pair of free throws from Andersen made it a six-point difference.
Houston was also within six, at 91-85 when Carl Landry hit a reverse layup with 1:47 remaining, but the Rockets simply ran out of gas. Roy stemmed the tide with a jumper, and Landry was called for traveling at the other end after he missed two shots. Oden's tip-in with under a minute remaining sealed the win.
"I thought we played hard, played aggressive," said Roy. "Sloppy...we had some turnovers there but we built the lead. The biggest thing was that we just didn't put them away when we had a chance to. But again, it was the first game and we're just happy to take this win even though it was sloppy. It's one under our belt."
Miller had nine points and seven assists in a reserve role...The Trail Blazers last opened the season against the Rockets in 1990, winning, 90-89, in what was the first of a franchise-record 11 straight wins to open the 1990-91 season. Portland's 63-19 record that season still stands as its best regular season mark, all-time...The Blazers opened the season at home for the first time since the 2002-03 season...The Trail Blazers are now 29-11 all-time in home openers, including nine straight home opening wins, dating back to 2000...Portland's 26 turnovers are more than the team had in any game last season.
10/28 01:45:27 ET