----- The Houston Rockets outscore the Trail Blazers 40-19 in the fourth quarter and send Portland to their fourth-straight loss with a 124-117 win Saturday night at Moda Center.
For three quarters on Saturday night, the Trail Blazers were better than James Harden and the Rockets. But, Houston exploded for 40 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Blazers 124-117. The loss was Portland's fourth-straight at home, and now they begin a five-game road trip on Monday night in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.
James Harden scored 15 of his game-high 48 points in the final quarter when the Rockets seized control of the game. The Blazers led by 14 points at 98-84 at the end of the third quarter, but the Rockets started the fourth on a 28-11 run to take a 112-109 lead. The Rockets outscored the Blazers 40-19 in the fourth quarter.
Houston (20-4) has now won nine-straight games overall and improved their road record to an NBA best 12-1. Chris Paul scored 26 points and dished out seven assists, Trevor Ariza added 13 points, and Eric Gordon added 12 points off the bench. The Rockets were rewarded for their aggressive play in the game by getting 42 shots at the foul line while the Blazers attempted just 12.
Portland (13-12) got 35 points and six assists from Damian Lillard and 28 points from CJ McCollum. The Blazers shot 51.1% including a season-high 18-for-41 from three-point range. Meyers Leonard got the start at center tonight in place of Jusuf Nurkic, scoring 12 points and pulled down four rebounds.
With the loss, Portland is now just 7-8 at Moda Center while playing the 2nd easiest schedule in the NBA to start the season.
Next up- The Trail Blazers begin a five-game road trip Monday night in Oakland against the Warriors. Game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 PM.
Chad's Take- If Terry Stotts wasn't on a hot seat before the game, he has to be now. Losing four-straight at home after going 4-1 on their first road trip of the year is a bad look.