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Trail Blazers 119, Rockets 117 OT

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND -- Nicolas Batum scored a career-high 35 points and rookie Damian Lillard put up 18 of his season-high 27 points in the second half as Portland upended Houston 119-117 in overtime Friday night at the Rose Garden.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 points for the Blazers (4-5), including a turnaround 10-footer with 37 seconds left in overtime that provided a 119-116 lead.

Batum also had four blocked shots, including a swat of a James Harden drive with 30 seconds left following Aldridge's shot.

Harden -- who led Houston (4-5) with 29 points -- made the first of two free throws with 1.4 seconds left, then intentionally missed the second. But the ball was swatted away as time expired, giving the Blazers their second overtime win over the Rockets this season.

Batum almost singlehandedly kept Portland alive in the third quarter, scoring 11 straight points -- including three 3-pointers -- and 14 in the quarter. Houston's lead was 77-64 when the Blazers closed out the period on a 14-2 run to trim the Rockets' lead to 79-78 entering the fourth quarter.

Wesley Matthews' driving layup pushed Portland on top at 80-79, giving the Blazers their first lead since the opening minutes.

NOTES: Houston coach Kevin McHale missed his fifth game as he dealt with a family matter. Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson has taken over on an interim basis until McHale's return. ... Houston small forward Carlos Delfino missed the game with a groin injury. ... Guard Nolan Smith was inactive and rookie forward Victor Claver moved into his spot on Portland's 13-man active list. Claver, who had played only five minutes in two games this season, entered the game midway through the first quarter but did not score in nine first-half minutes. ... Houston had a 17-1 first-half advantage in fast-break points. The differential was 24-1 four minutes into the second half. From that point on, the Blazers had an 8-0 edge in fast-break points.
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