Portland gets 95-85 OT win over Rockets

Associated Press Modified: November 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm •  Published: November 3, 2012
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HOUSTON (AP) — The way LaMarcus Aldridge was playing on Saturday night, Damian Lillard knew the Rockets would focus on the Trail Blazers' star in overtime.

When the rookie started getting more open looks, he delivered.

Lillard scored 20 points, including eight in overtime, and the Trail Blazers slowed down James Harden in a 95-85 win over Houston.

"(Aldridge) had it rolling, he was dominating the game offensively, and I just wanted to make sure I was in the position to knock the shots down," Lillard said. "(Aldridge) got going and I was able to get easier shots."

Aldridge finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two blocks for the Trail Blazers. All but four of Lillard's points came in the second half. He also had nine assists and six rebounds.

Lillard and Nicolas Batum each made a 3 to help Portland open an 87-81 lead in the extra session. Harden then made a pair of free throws before Lillard converted a reverse layup. His second 3 of overtime pushed Portland's lead to 93-85 with 1:25 remaining.

"He made big shots for us, and that's what we need from him," Aldridge said of the first-round pick.

Harden led the Rockets with 24 points in his home debut, but he wasn't as dominant as he was in the first two games. He scored 37 and a career-high 45 points after he was acquired in a deal with Oklahoma City last week. The NBA's Sixth Man of the Year signed a five-year, $80 contract extension on Wednesday.

Batum had 17 points, Wesley Matthews scored 16 and J.J. Hickson added nine points and 12 rebounds for Portland.

Jeremy Lin had 13 points and seven assists in his home debut for the Rockets, who lost for the first time this season.

"It wasn't the prettiest game today and I think both sides struggled to hit shots," Lin said. "That's the way it goes sometimes."

The game was tied with 1:17 to go before Lin made a layup while being fouled by Hickson. He sunk the free throw to give Houston an 81-78 lead.

Matthews tied it again with a 3 with just under a minute left. He also guarded Harden most of the night.

"When you put up 45 the night before, it kind of wears you out," Matthews said. "We are friends, but when it's tipoff time there are no friends."

Houston had a chance to win it in regulation, but Portland knocked the ball out of Harden's hands seconds before the buzzer.



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