NBA Game Summary - Houston at Portland
(Wednesday, April 11th)
Final Score: Houston 99, Portland 95
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady posted 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, as the Houston Rockets wrapped up a three-game road trip with a 99-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Yao Ming notched 27 points and 12 boards for the Rockets, who are the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. Rafer Alston netted 23 points for Houston, which went 3-0 on the swing.
"They played with a greater sense of urgency," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We didn't handle their pressure well. The pick and roll defense was poor. We played a horrible, horrible fourth period. My fear is we do this in the playoffs."
Brandon Roy scored 20 points for Portland, which is on a three-game skid. Fred Jones scored 18 points, Travis Outlaw 16, and Jamaal Magloire added 13 points and 10 boards for Portland, which has lost seven of its last nine games.
"What we're asking for this time of year is effort and we're getting it," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "If we make shots in the first half it could have been a different outcome. I really like the no-quit attitude these guys are showing me. We had the opportunity to get back in the game and took advantage by being aggressive."
Trailing by 19 points at the start of the fourth, Portland went on a 21-7 burst, as Roy's jumper with 4:43 left cut its deficit to just 85-80.
Outlaw scored on his second straight jumper with 58 seconds left to cut Portland's deficit to 94-88. Yao then turned the ball over as Dan Dickau stole it, but Yao then made Dickau alter his shot on a layup attempt that just rimmed out.
Alston then missed on a pair of free-throw attempts with 24.2 seconds left, keeping it a two-possession game for Portland. Roy missed on a three-pointer, but Outlaw fared better on his trey with 12.8 seconds remaining.
Alston went back to the charity stripe, this time making both attempts for a 96-91 Houston lead with 11.9 seconds on the clock.
Magloire cut hard down the lane for a dunk with 8.7 seconds left, but Alston converted 1-of-2 free throws 1.2 seconds later. Dickau's layup with one tick remaining made it a two-point game, as Houston had only to inbound the ball for the win.
Yao got fouled with 0.1 on the clock, and made both free throws to seal the win for Houston.
Alston's layup with 3:33 left capped a 17-8 run by Houston to start the game, and the Rockets then closed the stanza on a 6-0 spurt for a 28-16 lead heading into the second.
Houston added to its margin by going on a 13-4 run midway through the second as Shane Battier's trey with 5:42 left put the Rockets up 43-28. They led 53-36 at halftime.
Portland started to rally by scoring seven straight just past the midway point of the third, and five straight down the stretch to cut its deficit to 78-59 heading into the fourth.
Guard and former Blazer Bonzi Wells (personal) missed the contest for the Rockets. Portland was without two of its top players. Forwards LaMarcus Aldridge (heart condition) and Zach Randolph (right hand surgery) are both out for the remainder of the season...This was the fourth and final meeting of the campaign between the squads. Portland went 2-2 against the Rockets this season and has won three of the last five contests in the series...Houston has lost 10 of its last 18 at Portland.
04/12 02:01:43 ET