NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 20th (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (31-9) at Houston Rockets (27-15), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will shoot for their sixth consecutive victory Monday night as their road trip takes them to the Toyota Center to face the Houston Rockets.
The Blazers have begun their four-game road trip, all against teams with winning records, 2-0 thanks to a nine-point win in San Antonio on Friday and a 127-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers against Dallas. Nicolas Batum added 21 points and seven rebounds, Robin Lopez had 16 points and 12 boards and Damian Lillard finished with 14 points and 10 assists for Portland.
"I was really proud of the way our team played tonight, especially on the heels of an emotional win in San Antonio last night. Our resolve, defensively, I thought was very good and got us into a position to have a large lead," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
The Blazers are the league's best offensive team, averaging 109.6 points per game. During this five-game winning streak, Portland has scored no fewer than 108 points and averaged 113.2 ppg.
Portland will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday to close out this demanding trip.
The Rockets collected their fourth win in five games on Saturday with a 114-104 home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. That came after Houston scored just 19 points in the second half of a home loss to the Thunder.
"That Thunder game was a terrible game for us in the second half," said Dwight Howard. "We were highly upset after the game, but we have to put that one behind us, but that is a team that we are going to have to beat in order for us to make it to the finals. That's the main reason why we were really upset because you want to do well against those great teams."
Terrence Jones scored a career-high 36 points with 11 rebounds to help the Rockets on Saturday.
"He's been comfortable. He's been rebounding well. He's been active," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said of Jones' recent play. "There's big things for Terrence if he just keeps his activity level up."
James Harden scored 22 points, Howard netted 20 points with 14 rebounds, and Aaron Brooks added 10 points off the bench for the Rockets, who have won three of their last four at home.
Houston will host the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies on this homestand.
The two teams split this season's two matchups, both of which were staged in Portland. The Rockets had won three straight against Portland until Portland's win on Dec. 12. The Blazers are just 2-8 in their last 10 appearances in Houston.
01/20 10:33:43 ET