PORTLAND, Ore. -- LaMarcus Aldridge started the game slowly Thursday night. Once he got going, Portland's All-Star forward never stopped.
Aldridge scored 31 points and grabbed a career-high 25 rebounds to lift the Trail Blazers to a 111-104 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Moda Center.
Center Robin Lopez added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and forward Nicolas Batum contributed 15 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Blazers (19-4). Portland improved to 10-2 at home.
Center Dwight Howard had 32 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots, and guard James Harden collected 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Rockets (15-8).
Aldridge made only one of his first eight shots from the field but made 11 of his next 14, finishing 12-for-22.
Trailing by one point at the half, Portland started the third quarter on a 16-5 run to take a 59-49 lead. Houston, with Howard working the middle, rallied to regain the advantage at 73-72, but the teams went into the final quarter tied at 76-76.
The Blazers opened the fourth period with a 10-0 tear. The Rockets roared back again, drawing to within 97-95 on Harden's three-point play with 4:45 remaining. However, Portland guard Wesley Matthews (18 points) hit a step-back jumper and then finished an 11-1 run with a three-point play for a 108-96 edge.
Both teams started cold from the field -- Portland 4-for-15, Houston 4-for-13 -- and the score was tied at 9-9 midway through the first quarter. The Blazers finished the quarter shooting 8-for-26 (.308) but took a 21-20 lead into the second quarter.
Houston moved in front 38-33 with 4:30 left in the second period, then settled for a 44-43 advantage at the break.
NOTES: Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson ran the Rockets in the absence of Kevin McHale, whose mother died Tuesday night. Her memorial service is Friday. McHale will also miss the Rockets' road game Friday night against the Golden State Warriors, but he could return for Sunday's visit to the Sacramento Kings. ... Rockets F Terrence Jones, a Portland native, made his first NBA start in his hometown with a key defensive assignment -- guarding the Trail Blazers All-Star F LaMarcus Aldridge. Jones started the past 15 games after Houston junked the Twin Towers lineup of C Dwight Howard and C Omer Asik. ... Asik missed his fourth consecutive game due to a thigh bruise. ... Portland rookie G C.J. McCollum, who has yet to play this season due to a broken left foot, was cleared for some basketball activity and was shooting with his teammates prior to Thursday's game. There is no timeline for his return, Portland coach Terry Stotts said.