Simons, Portland hand Houston another home loss, 125-110
HOUSTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 27 points, CJ McCollum had 26 and the Portland Trail Blazers handed Houston its franchise-record 10th straight home loss, beating the Rockets 125-110 on Friday night.
Jusuf Nurkic had 25 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which had dropped two in a row. Norman Powell finished with 16 points.
Coach Chauncey Billups said the Blazers are at their best when they share the ball like they did Friday.
“That’s how we like to play,” he said. “We’re just moving the basketball. We try to take what the defense gives us. ... That’s beautiful for us to be playing like that.”
It was Houston’s third straight loss overall. According to STATS, the Rockets became the first team in NBA history to drop 10 straight home games by nine or more points.
The Rockets haven’t won in Houston since a victory over the Nets on Dec. 8.
“It’s tough,” Christian Wood said. “We want to for sure win games at home for these fans. They deserve better and we have to be better.”
Houston trailed by 12 midway through the fourth before consecutive 3s from Wood and Jalen Green cut the lead to 108-102.
McCollum responded for the Blazers, scoring five points in a 7-2 spurt that pushed their advantage to 115-104 with three minutes left.
Portland put together a 10-2 run, highlighted by a three-point play from Nurkic, to make it 125-110 with about a minute left.
“I was very proud of the way we closed the game,” Billups said. “We did a good job of finding what we wanted at the end and just attacking.”
Billups was asked about McCollum’s play late to help the Blazers fend off Houston’s rally attempt.
“This is just who he is,” Billups said. “He’s just a special talent. No moment is too big for CJ.”
Wood and Garrison Mathews had 21 points apiece for the Rockets. Wood also led the team with 15 rebounds.
McCollum scored in the final seconds of the third to give Portland a 91-83 lead, but Kenyon Martin Jr. responded with a dunk for Houston just before the buzzer.
Blazers: Ben McLemore made four of Portland’s 17 3-pointers. Robert Covington had three 3s and 13 points.
Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr. missed the game after entering health and safety protocols. ... Green and Martin had 17 points each. ... Josh Christopher added 11 points.
THEY SAID IT
“We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter and we were competitive and we fight and we have grit and we work ourselves back into the games. But the problem is the beginning like, don’t put yourself in the position where you have to exhibit all of those things.” — Rockets coach Stephen Silas on his postgame message to the team.
Blazers: Visit Chicago on Sunday.
Rockets: Host Golden State on Monday night.
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