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Rockets end Blazers' streak with 126-113 win

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm •  Published: January 20, 2014
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HOUSTON (AP) — The last time the Houston Rockets scored more than 70 points in a first half they followed it with a franchise-low 19 points after halftime.

They had no such letdown Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Chandler Parsons scored a season-high 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 to lead the Rockets to a 126-113 win over Portland that snapped the Trail Blazers' five-game winning streak.

The Rockets scored a season-high to win their second straight, building a big lead early and answering every time Portland made a run.

James Harden added 22 points and had five assists and Patrick Beverley returned from a broken hand to score 17 points. Parsons added 10 rebounds and seven assists while finishing one point shy of his career-high.

Harden talked about the difference between Monday night and last week's loss to Oklahoma City, when they set an NBA record for the largest scoring differential between two halves.

"We just held our composure," Harden said. "We couldn't worry about what they were doing or anything. We had to figure out a way to fight through it and play harder, push the tempo a little harder and play defense."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 20 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won seven of their last 11 games.

"We got close and we just couldn't get over that hump," Aldridge said. "Our shots didn't fall for us and they made tough shots and were able to get the win."

Houston was up by 18 points after a 3-pointer by Harden with about eight minutes left. The Trail Blazers used a 9-2 run over the next two minutes to cut it to 115-104. The Rockets struggled in that stretch, missing two layups and committing a turnover.

Houston missed two 3-pointers on one possession after that before Beverley hit a jump shot. Howard gave Houston a 119-104 lead when he grabbed an alley-oop from Harden and finished with a two-handed slam.

Damian Lillard added 24 points for Portland and Wesley Matthews had 18.

A 7-0 run by Portland midway through the third quarter got the Trail Blazers within six points. The Rockets scored the next seven straight to pad their lead to 93-80.

"They made a run in the third quarter and instead of us complaining, we got to the bench and we talked about what we needed to do and we got a good win against a very, very good team," Howard said.

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