NBA Game Summary - Portland at Houston
(Monday, February 11th)
Final Score: Houston 95, Portland 83
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming had 25 points and seven rebounds and the Houston Rockets dominated the second half en route to winning their seventh straight, 95-83, over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Toyota Center.
Yao made seven of his 11 field-goal attempts and was a solid 11-for-13 from the free-throw line, as Houston outscored Portland 51-40 in the final 24 minutes.
"The second half we kept our intensity up," Yao said. "We kept pushing like we did the last couple of games. We played a high level on both offense and defense. I think Portland really pushed hard at the beginning but in the second quarter we found a way to play against them. We played with a lot of patience."
Rafer Alston had 17 points and seven assists, and Tracy McGrady added 12 points, six assists and four rebounds. Luis Scola and Shane Battier contributed 11 points apiece for Houston, which shot 48.5 percent from the floor as a team, and has not lost since a 97-89 setback to Utah on January 27.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and five boards to pace Portland, which has now dropped three straight and four of five overall. Brandon Roy struggled from the field (5-for-13 shooting), but still totaled 15 points and eight assists.
"We came out good the first half," Aldridge said. "They were giving us different looks defensively. They just came out strong the second half and never looked back. In the second half, Yao just got to the line and made his free throws."
Portland closed the opening quarter on a 7-2 spurt for a 24-18 advantage going to the second. Roy's two free throws pushed the cushion to 37-29 around the midway point of the second, but the Rockets finished the half on a 12-4 run - capped by Scola's pair from the line - and led 44-43 at the break.
Houston scored six unanswered - all on free throws by Yao - to go up nine late in the third. A Jarrett Jack jumper trimmed Portland's deficit to 69-62 going to the fourth.
Eight straight Rockets points to start the final stanza sparked a 14-2 run, and extended Houston's advantage to 75-62 with 8:44 remaining. Roy hit three straight free throws and Aldridge drained a fadeaway jumper to pull Portland back within a dozen, 79-67, but Yao's three-point play had the Rockets up 18 again with 4:45 to go.
Battier hit back-to-back threes to effectively put the Blazers away, stretching the Houston lead to 92-74 with under three minutes to go.
Houston was 7-for-16 (43.8 percent) from three-point range, and made 24-of-28 free-throw attempts...Portland was just 11-for-21 at the line...Martell Webster had 11 points and six rebounds for the Blazers.
02/12 00:16:41 ET