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NBA Game Summary - Portland at Houston



(Sunday, April 20th)

Final Score: Portland 122, Houston 120 (OT)

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Damian Lillard knocked down the go-ahead free throws with 17 seconds left to help the Portland Trail Blazers to a 122-120 overtime win over the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.

After Francisco Garcia and Dwight Howard both split their respective free throws for a 120-119 edge, Lillard drove to the basket and was fouled by the former.

The 87-percent foul shooter calmly sank both attempts for a 121-120 Blazers edge.

James Harden missed a pull-up 3-pointer on the other end and Howard was whistled for a controversial loose-ball foul on Joel Freeland. The little used Freeland missed his first attempt but knocked down the second for a 122-120 lead.

Harden got stuck near the right elbow with time running out and heaved a tough fadeaway jumper at the buzzer that caught the back of the rim.

"He had a shot late, he's made them before, but it wasn't a smooth running play, wasn't the look that we wanted," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale.

Lillard finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists and LaMarcus Aldridge turned in a monster performance with 46 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out in the extra session. Aldridge's 46 points set a Blazers' franchise record for points in a postseason game.

Harden scored 27 points and Howard finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots before fouling out later in overtime. Chandler Parsons ended up with 24 in the setback.

A pair of Jeremy Lin free throws with 4:58 left in regulation gave the Rockets a 96-85 lead. Aldridge cut the lead to nine with a layup on the other end.

Portland then turned to the "hack-a-Howard" strategy. The 54.7-percent foul shooter made his first two attempts, but missed the next four as the Blazers rallied with the next 11 points to tie the game on Aldridge's two from the line with 2:46 left.

Harden got a tough jumper to fall just inside the final minute of regulation for a 102-99 lead and Aldridge cut it to one with a pair of free throws 13 seconds later.

Lin missed a runner on the other end, but Howard grabbed the rebound and was fouled. This time, Howard came through for his team and knocked down both free throws for a 104-101 edge.

Lillard, however, buried a game-tying trey. On the inbounds pass, Lillard ran his defender Patrick Beverley into a brutal screen which sent him to the deck. Lillard then got Terrance Jones to bite on a pump fake before knocking down the triple.

After Harden made it 106-104 with seven seconds left, Wesley Matthews attempted a three from the time out, but it drew iron. Lillard was there for the rebound, but his tip-in didn't fall. Aldridge, though, cleaned up that miss and tied the game again with 2.9 seconds left.

Harden couldn't get a tough look from the corner to go as the horn sounded, sending the game into overtime.

The Rockets scored the first six points of the bonus period thanks to three- point plays from Howard and Lin. Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, though, hit back- to-back treys and Matthews knocked down two free throws to give the Blazers their first lead since late in the first half.

The teams traded blows until Lin blew by his defender and got a layup to fall for a 118-116 lead with 53 seconds left. Lillard, however, used a three-point play on the ensuing trip to put Portland in front.

Garcia and Howard split from the stripe before Lillard made the go-ahead free throws.

"That was a tremendous game. Obviously when we fouled Dwight he missed some of the free throws, that was a turning point," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "They came out and scored the first six in OT, but we responded. We had to win one here, we did it, but we're not satisfied. Tonight is behind us, we have to keep going."

The Blazers used a 9-4 run early in the first to take a 15-8 lead, Lillard buried a 3-pointer for a 25-17 edge and Portland led 27-20 after 12 minutes following Aldridge's 20-foot jumper in the closing seconds. He finished with 12 points in the frame.

The Rockets took over in the second and used a 24-6 run to go up 44-33 with 4:39 to go in the first half. The Blazers rattled off a 15-2 swing to take the lead back with 22 seconds left, but a Harden step back 3-pointer with two seconds left gave the Rockets a 49-48 edge heading into the break.

Houston's lead continued to hover around two possessions in the third until Harden buried a pull-up trey to spark 10-2 swing. Harden finished with eight points on the flurry as the hosts opened up a 66-53 lead.

Portland chipped away and pulled within four, 73-69, following a Matthews 3- pointer and dunk. The Rockets led 79-73 entering the final frame.

Game Notes

Game 2 is Tuesday in Houston ... Matthews added 18 points and Batum scored 14 for the Blazers, which received just seven points from their bench ... Aldridge was 17-of-31 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the free throw line ... Jones scored 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for Houston ... The Rockets outscored Portland in the paint 58-52 and 27-25 on second-chance points, but shot just 65 percent from the free throw line ... Harden struggled from the field, finished just 8-of-28.

04/21 01:51:56 ET

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Local
Final
UNC 82
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Final
WVU 83
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1:00pm Today
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7:00pm Tonight
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Final
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CHA 104
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Final
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SAN 93
Final
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NYK
 
4:30pm Today
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6:00pm Tonight
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6:00pm Tonight
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6:00pm Tonight
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6:00pm Tonight
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6:00pm Tonight
WAS
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7:00pm Tonight
MIN
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7:00pm Tonight
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NEV 3
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UTEP 6
UTST 21
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COLST 10
UTAH 45
Final
AFA 38
WMICH 24
Final
BGU 33
SALABAMA 28
Final
GEOR 81
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Final
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Final
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STJOE 54
 
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KENT 83
UCLA 44
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COC 68
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RIU 69
DET 55
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UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
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NWST 89
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WAGN 66
MON 74
 
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MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
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PITT 81
OU 77
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TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
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WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
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AFA 75
UCD 81
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MSST 51
USCU 53
 
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JMU 71
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SHU 73
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MSU 64
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ND 94
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SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
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XAV 88
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DAY 78
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UNCW 66
ECU 54
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CLMB 82
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IONA 81
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TOWS 53
LAS 67
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MAN 73
MRGST 69
 
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CCST 76
YALE 84
 
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PEPP 63
RICH 65
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MAR 58
STJOE 75
Final
KYST 71
TEXAM 64
Final
MAST 72
VALPO 75
 
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UMKC 104
INCWORD 110
 
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IDST 50
CALST 59
 
Final
NIOWA 56
IOWA 44
Final
SIUE 61
UWMIL 56
 
Final
TEX 78
LBSU 68
Final
TCU 88
TXSA 57
Final
ARK 84
SEMIZ 67
Final
NCOL 69
JVST 60
 
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ARST 81
LEH 84
 
Final
NMST 67
NMU 69
 
Final
WASH 69
OKLA 67
Final
GRCN 81
STED 55
 
Final
WEBER 73
WLVRN 61
 
Final
WVU 83
NCSU 69
Final
SDST 70
BST 57
Final
GONZ 63
CPSL 50
Final
PAC 71
FRES 68
Final
PORT 87
MNTST 60
 
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CSNO 68
TAMCC 75
 
Final
UTST 65
SDKST 68
 
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BYU 79
STAN 77
Final
UNLV 46
UTAH 59
12:00pm Today
UVA
HARV
 
1:00pm Today
BGU
FERST
 
1:00pm Today
ARMY
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1:00pm Today
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1:30pm Today
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2:00pm Today
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4:30pm Today
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4:30pm Today
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Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
Final
CLB 3
CHI 2
Final
BUF 1
COL 5
Final
PIT 3
FLA 1
Final
CAR 2
NYR 3
Final
MON 4
OTT 1
Final
TOR 4
PHI 7
Final
NYI 3
TAM 1
Final
NJD 0
WAS 4
Final
MIN 5
NAS 6
Final
VAN 3
CAL 2
Final
SJS 3
STL 2
6:00pm Tonight
DET
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6:00pm Tonight
EDM
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7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
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9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
 
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
Final
SFX 35
SDC 38
1:00pm Today
NOS
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1:00pm Today
HOU
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1:00pm Today
CAR
CLE
1:00pm Today
CHI
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1:00pm Today
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4:25pm Today
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8:30pm Tonight
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