NBA: Portland downs Jalen Green, Rockets for 3rd straight road win

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 29 2022 12:14 PM

Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate drives against Portland teammates CJ McCollum and Robert Covington in their game on January 28, 2022. Thomas Shea, USA Today Sports/Reuters
Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate drives against Portland teammates CJ McCollum and Robert Covington in their game on January 28, 2022. Thomas Shea, USA Today Sports/Reuters

Anfernee Simons and CJ McCollum combined for 53 points, Jusuf Nurkic added a double-double and the Portland Trail Blazers rode a balanced offensive attack to their 3rd consecutive road victory, defeating the Houston Rockets 125-110 on Friday.

Simons and McCollum shot a combined 21 for 37, including 9 for 18 on 3-pointers, while scoring 27 and 26 points, respectively. 

They paced 6 Blazers in double figures, with Nurkic pairing 25 points with 13 rebounds to offer Portland inside heft to complement the perimeter proficiency.

After Houston cut what was an 18-point deficit to 5 in the 4th quarter, Nurkic and Simons helped the Trail Blazers reclaim control with consecutive baskets as Simons followed a Nurkic interior tally with a corner 3-pointer for a 103-92 lead with 7:33 left. 

The Rockets maintained the pressure but couldn't get over the hump en route to their 10th consecutive home defeat.

Norman Powell scored 16 for the Trail Blazers, Robert Covington 13 and Ben McLemore 12 off the bench. McLemore hit 4-of-9 3-pointers as Portland finished 17 of 39 from behind the arc.

Garrison Mathews scored 21 points on 4-for-8 3-point shooting while Christian Wood posted a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double for Houston. 

Rookie Jalen Green tallied 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists while KJ Martin (a season-high 17 points) and Josh Christopher (11 points) led the 3rd-quarter surge that lifted the Rockets back into contention.

However, excluding Mathews, Houston finished 6 for 33 from deep while posting 19 turnovers.

Simons scored 10 1st-quarter points for Portland but it was a string of 3-pointers that keyed an 11-2 closing run for the Trail Blazers. McLemore, McCollum and Covington all connected from deep for Portland, which rode the perimeter barrage to a 32-20 lead into the 2nd period.

With a pair of Nurkic free throws the deficit swelled to 18 points in the second quarter for the Rockets, who had more turnovers (10) than field goals (9) by the 9:01 mark of the period. 

When Covington drilled a 3-pointer with 2:30 remaining in the half, the Trail Blazers were a scorching 10 of 20 from behind the arc. 

The Trail Blazers finished shooting 57.5% overall from the floor prior to the intermission, with 4 of their 5 starters having scored in double figures.