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HOU

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Lillard leads Trail Blazers to 117-107 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) After getting off to a disappointing start this season, the Portland Trail Blazers are focused on playing much better going forward.

On Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets they did that, limiting James Harden to his fewest points of the season in a 117-107 win.

“A season is full of ups and downs and we've had more downs this year than ups, but it's a whole second half of the season to play,” Damian Lillard said. “We executed and we played like we wanted to win the game ... we've just got to try to sustain that.”

Lillard scored 25 points and CJ McCollum added 24 as the Trail Blazers withstood a late surge from the Rockets to get their second straight victory.

The Trail Blazers led by double figures for most of the game, but the Rockets began cutting into the lead in the fourth. A 3 by Ben McLemore got them within five with about five minutes to go.

But McCollum and Carmelo Anthony then made consecutive 3-pointers for Portland to make it 111-100 with four minutes left, and Houston didn't threaten again.

When Hassan Whiteside made four points in a row, capped by a dunk, later in the fourth to make it 115-102, the home fans began streaming for the exits.

Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 31 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds on a night when Harden scored 13 points. It was the fewest points Harden had scored since he had 10 against Minnesota on Jan. 18, 2018.

Lillard was proud of the work they did against Harden, who entered the game averaging an NBA-best 37.8 points a game.

“We gave him a lot of attention and pretty much just made him give the ball up to other guys and decided were going to live with somebody else beating us," Lillard said. “And it turned out to be a pretty good game plan."

Houston lost consecutive games for the first time since a season-high three-game skid from Nov. 20-24, and has dropped three of its last four.

“Everyone goes through the tough times throughout the course of the year,” Harden said. “For us, this is now. We’ve got to come together and figure out what the problem is and go out there and try to fight through it."

The Rockets had a tough shooting night after losing to Memphis 121-110 on the road Tuesday night and shot just 39.6%. Harden shot 3 of 12 and center Clint Capela was just 7 of 14.

Houston scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, but Portland got 3s from Gary Trent, Jr. and Anthony Tolliver to make it 96-82.

McCollum made all of Portland's points in a 6-3 spurt later in the fourth to leave the Trail Blazers up 102-88.

Westbrook was at the free throw line soon after that, and he and Lillard both received technical fouls for jawing at each other.

Houston finally found some rhythm on offense after that and used a 9-1 run, with 3s from P.J. Tucker and McLemore to cut the deficit to 103-97 midway through the quarter.

It was a nine-point game when the Rockets' Danuel House made a layup midway through the third quarter, but Portland scored the next seven points, including a 3 from Kent Bazemore, to extend it to 81-65 two minutes later.

Eric Gordon made two 3-pointers after that to power a 6-3 run that got Houston within 84-71.

Houston made six straight points later in the third, but Lillard added a layup for Portland to wrap up the quarter and leave the Trail Blazers up by 13 entering the fourth.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Whiteside had 18 points and 17 rebounds. ... All five players in Portland's starting lineup scored at least 10 points. ... Portland made 11 of 36 3-pointers.

Rockets: Westbrook has scored 20 or more points in 15 straight games. ... Gordon scored 20 points with six 3s and has made at least four 3-pointers in three games in a row. ... Harden had eight rebounds and seven assists.

MELO RETURNS TO HOUSTON

Anthony added 18 points with 12 rebounds for Portland in his first game against Houston since the Rockets parted ways with him after just 10 games last season. After he left Houston, Anthony didn't find another job until the Trail Blazers signed him in November.

But he insisted he didn't have any added emotions in his return to Houston, saying he'd already dealt with his feelings about what happened here.

“I kind of got past all of that, the time that I was off," he said. “The time that I did have to kind of think about that situation, and I’ve done dealt with every emotion that you could think about. Trying to figure out why. Questioning myself at the beginning. Working so hard to get past that and kind of be at peace with that."

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Visit Dallas on Saturday night.

Rockets: Host the Lakers on Saturday night.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:48   Damian Lillard missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:47   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
11:37 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 0-3
11:20 +2 Hassan Whiteside made layup, assist by CJ McCollum 2-3
11:04   Clint Capela missed hook shot  
11:03   Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
10:45 +2 Carmelo Anthony made turnaround jump shot, assist by Kent Bazemore 4-3
10:26   Russell Westbrook missed driving layup  
10:23   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
10:23 +2 Clint Capela made dunk 4-5
10:16   Damian Lillard missed driving layup, blocked by Clint Capela  
10:15   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
10:10   Ben McLemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:10   Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
10:03   CJ McCollum missed floating jump shot  
10:01   POR team rebound  
9:52   Lost ball turnover on Carmelo Anthony, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
9:47   James Harden missed driving layup, blocked by Kent Bazemore  
9:46   Offensive rebound by James Harden  
9:42 +2 Russell Westbrook made jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 4-7
9:14 +2 Russell Westbrook made driving layup 7-9
9:04   Damian Lillard missed driving layup  
9:03   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
8:55   Ben McLemore missed layup  
8:55   Defensive rebound by Kent Bazemore  
8:53   Out of bounds turnover on Kent Bazemore  
8:41   Ben McLemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:40   Defensive rebound by Damian Lillard  
8:30 +2 Carmelo Anthony made layup, assist by Damian Lillard 9-9
8:30   Shooting foul on James Harden  
8:30 +1 Carmelo Anthony made free throw 10-9
8:24   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
8:24   James Harden missed free throw  
8:24   HOU team rebound  
8:15   Lost ball turnover on Clint Capela, stolen by Damian Lillard  
8:13   Shooting foul on James Harden  
8:13 +1 Kent Bazemore made 1st of 2 free throws 11-9
8:13 +1 Kent Bazemore made 2nd of 2 free throws 12-9
8:04 +2 James Harden made dunk, assist by Russell Westbrook 12-11
7:49   CJ McCollum missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:47   POR team rebound  
7:41 +2 Hassan Whiteside made dunk, assist by Damian Lillard 14-11
7:34   Bad pass turnover on Ben McLemore, stolen by CJ McCollum  
7:29 +2 CJ McCollum made layup 16-11
7:14   Clint Capela missed layup  
7:10   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
7:13   Clint Capela missed dunk  
7:08   Offensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
7:05 +3 Ben McLemore made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Russell Westbrook 16-14
6:47   3-second violation turnover on Hassan Whiteside  
6:36 +2 Russell Westbrook made layup 16-16
6:36   Shooting foul on Hassan Whiteside  
6:36   Russell Westbrook missed free throw  
6:33   Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
6:27   Shooting foul on Danuel House Jr.  
6:27 +1 Hassan Whiteside made 1st of 2 free throws 17-16
6:27   Hassan Whiteside missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
6:26   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
6:16   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:13   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
6:13   Traveling violation turnover on Clint Capela  
6:02   Hassan Whiteside missed floating jump shot  
6:01   HOU team rebound  
6:01   Personal foul on Hassan Whiteside  
5:52   Russell Westbrook missed jump shot  
5:47   Offensive rebound by Clint Capela  
5:53 +2 Clint Capela made dunk 17-18
5:36   Damian Lillard missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:34   Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
5:24   Out of bounds turnover on James Harden  
5:10   Personal foul on Danuel House Jr.  
5:04   Shooting foul on Eric Gordon  
5:04 +1 CJ McCollum made 1st of 2 free throws 18-18
5:04   CJ McCollum missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
5:04   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
4:56   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:53   Defensive rebound by Damian Lillard  
4:44   CJ McCollum missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:43   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
4:33   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
4:32   Defensive rebound by Kent Bazemore  
4:24   Kent Bazemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:17   Offensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
4:23 +2 Hassan Whiteside made dunk 20-18
4:07   Lost ball turnover on Clint Capela, stolen by CJ McCollum  
4:00 +2 CJ McCollum made reverse layup 22-18
3:49   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:45   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
3:31   Kent Bazemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:29   Defensive rebound by Eric Gordon  
3:21   Personal foul on Nassir Little  
3:12   Austin Rivers missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:09   Defensive rebound by Kent Bazemore  
2:56   Hassan Whiteside missed hook shot  
2:55   Offensive rebound by Nassir Little  
2:54   Shooting foul on Danuel House Jr.  
2:54 +1 Nassir Little made 1st of 2 free throws 23-18
2:54 +1 Nassir Little made 2nd of 2 free throws 24-18
2:44 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Russell Westbrook 24-21
2:22   Damian Lillard missed jump shot  
2:19   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
2:02 +3 Eric Gordon made 3-pt. jump shot 24-24
1:40   Anfernee Simons missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:37   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
1:28   Austin Rivers missed floating jump shot  
1:26   POR team rebound  
1:26   Personal foul on Clint Capela  
1:26   Hassan Whiteside missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:26   POR team rebound  
1:26   Hassan Whiteside missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:24   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
1:16   Russell Westbrook missed layup  
1:13   Defensive rebound by Anfernee Simons  
1:05   Gary Trent Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:03   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
0:47 +2 Eric Gordon made floating jump shot, assist by Clint Capela 24-26
0:33 +2 Damian Lillard made fade-away jump shot 26-26
0:28   Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:25   Defensive rebound by Damian Lillard  
0:04 +2 Anfernee Simons made driving layup, assist by Damian Lillard 28-26
0:00   Austin Rivers missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Defensive rebound by Gary Trent Jr.  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:49   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:48   Defensive rebound by Anthony Tolliver  
11:31 +3 Anthony Tolliver made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Anfernee Simons 31-26
11:20 +2 Russell Westbrook made driving layup 31-28
10:58 +2 Anthony Tolliver made dunk, assist by CJ McCollum 33-28
10:41   Eric Gordon missed driving layup  
10:39   Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
10:34 +2 Gary Trent Jr. made hook shot, assist by Carmelo Anthony 35-28
10:26 +2 Russell Westbrook made driving layup 35-30
10:26   Shooting foul on Anfernee Simons  
10:26 +1 Russell Westbrook made free throw 35-31
10:14   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
10:14 +1 Carmelo Anthony made 1st of 2 free throws 36-31
10:14 +1 Carmelo Anthony made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-31
10:00   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:57   Defensive rebound by Anfernee Simons  
9:51   Anthony Tolliver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:50   Defensive rebound by Danuel House Jr.  
9:38   Eric Gordon missed layup  
9:35   Defensive rebound by Gary Trent Jr.  
9:34   Personal foul on Ben McLemore  
9:21 +2 Carmelo Anthony made driving layup, assist by CJ McCollum 39-31
9:02 +3 Ben McLemore made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by P.J. Tucker 39-34
8:41   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
8:41 +1 CJ McCollum made free throw 40-34
8:36   Offensive foul on Gary Trent Jr.  
8:36   Turnover on Gary Trent Jr.  
8:25   Danuel House Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:24   Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
8:16   CJ McCollum missed floating jump shot  
8:15   Offensive rebound by Anthony Tolliver  
8:04 +2 CJ McCollum made floating jump shot 42-34
7:58   Shooting foul on Gary Trent Jr.  
7:58 +1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 42-35
7:58 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 42-36
7:38 +2 Carmelo Anthony made jump shot, assist by CJ McCollum 44-36
7:21 +3 Ben McLemore made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Danuel House Jr. 44-39
7:06   Lost ball turnover on CJ McCollum, stolen by Ben McLemore  
7:06   Personal foul on CJ McCollum  
6:59   Austin Rivers missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:58   Defensive rebound by Anthony Tolliver  
6:50   CJ McCollum missed layup, blocked by Ben McLemore  
6:49   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
6:49   Personal foul on Carmelo Anthony  
6:35   Lost ball turnover on Austin Rivers, stolen by Anfernee Simons  
6:26 +3 CJ McCollum made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Anfernee Simons 47-39
6:12 +2 Austin Rivers made driving layup 47-41
6:12   Shooting foul on Anthony Tolliver  
6:12   Austin Rivers missed free throw  
6:12   Defensive rebound by Anfernee Simons  
5:49 +2 CJ McCollum made floating jump shot 49-41
5:38   Ben McLemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:35   Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
5:27   CJ McCollum missed hook shot  
5:24   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
5:18   Ben McLemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:14   Offensive rebound by James Harden  
5:13   Shooting foul on Kent Bazemore  
5:13   James Harden missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:13   HOU team rebound  
5:13 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 49-42
5:00   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
5:00 +1 Kent Bazemore made 1st of 2 free throws 50-42
5:00 +1 Kent Bazemore made 2nd of 2 free throws 51-42
4:48   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:47   Defensive rebound by Damian Lillard  
4:35   Kent Bazemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:33   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
4:25   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:23   Defensive rebound by Anfernee Simons  
4:18   Nassir Little missed layup  
4:13   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
4:11   James Harden missed driving layup, blocked by Hassan Whiteside  
4:11   HOU team rebound  
4:03   P.J. Tucker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:03   Defensive rebound by Kent Bazemore  
3:42   Kent Bazemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:40   Defensive rebound by Eric Gordon  
3:32   Russell Westbrook missed driving layup  
3:31   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
3:21   Hassan Whiteside missed floating jump shot  
3:17   Offensive rebound by Damian Lillard  
3:18   Damian Lillard missed fade-away jump shot  
3:15   Offensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
3:09 +2 Hassan Whiteside made dunk 53-42
3:06   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:03   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
2:43 +3 Damian Lillard made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kent Bazemore 56-42
2:29 +3 Russell Westbrook made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Eric Gordon 56-45
2:09   Hassan Whiteside missed layup, blocked by James Harden  
2:04   Offensive rebound by Kent Bazemore  
2:03   Kent Bazemore missed jump shot  
1:58   Offensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony  
1:58 +2 Carmelo Anthony made dunk 58-45
2:01   Russell Westbrook missed driving layup, blocked by CJ McCollum  
2:00   Defensive rebound by CJ McCollum  
1:37   Carmelo Anthony missed jump shot  
1:37   Defensive rebound by Clint Capela  
1:18 +2 Russell Westbrook made layup 58-47
1:18   Violation  
1:01   Lost ball turnover on Damian Lillard, stolen by Russell Westbrook  
0:55   Eric Gordon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:54   Defensive rebound by Damian Lillard  
0:33   Shooting foul on Ben McLemore  
0:33 +1 Damian Lillard made 1st of 2 free throws 59-47
0:33 +1 Damian Lillard made 2nd of 2 free throws 60-47
0:28   Clint Capela missed layup, blocked by Hassan Whiteside  
0:28   HOU team rebound  
0:25