NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 31st (All times eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (1-1) at Houston Rockets (1-1), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Portland and Houston will hook up again for the second time this week tonight, when the Rockets host the Blazers at the Toyota Center.
In the season opener for both teams on Tuesday at The Rose Garden in Portland, Travis Outlaw scored 23 points off the bench and Greg Oden added two points and 12 rebounds in a 96-87 Blazers victory over the Rockets. Portland then dropped its next game versus the Denver Nuggets, 97-94, on Thursday.
Brandon Roy drained 16-of-18 from the foul line en route to a 30-point effort for Portland, which got 22 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, from Rudy Fernandez. Oden was sent to the line with 4.6 seconds remaining and the Blazers down 95-94, but missed both attempts.
"I definitely stepped up there with confidence, thinking I was going to hit it and it didn't go that way. I put this loss on me, I need to step up and make those," Oden said.
The Trail Blazers will play two straight and seven of their next 10 games on the road, where they compiled a 20-21 record a year ago.
In Houston's season-opening loss at Portland, Aaron Brooks led the Rockets with 19 points, but the frontcourt trio of Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes combined for just 17 points. It was a rematch of last year's first-round playoff series won by the Rockets in six games.
The Rockets rebounded with a 108-107 victory at Golden State on Wednesday thanks to Brooks' 18 points and 12 assists. Trevor Ariza notched 25 points and Scola chipped in 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who will play three of their next four games in Houston. Houston went 33-8 as the host last season.
"It's a very big win because of that," Scola said. "It's difficult to get wins in the first games of the season on the road. It was a huge win, but we've got to keep going."
Houston has won seven of nine and eight of the last 11 meetings with Portland, which has dropped four straight, 10 of 11 and 11 of its last 13 trips to the Toyota Center.
10/31 10:32:06 ET