Jalen Green scores 27 points, the Rockets beat the Trail Blazers 123-107

Sat, Mar 9, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Jalen Green scores 27 points, the Rockets beat the Trail Blazers 123-107

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Jalen Green had 27 points, including two statement dunks in the third quarter, and the Houston Rockets pulled away to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 123-107 on Friday night.

Fred VanVleet added 18 points and 10 assists for the Rockets, who had lost four of their previous six games and were coming off a 122-116 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Alperen Sengun finished with 19 points.

Dalano Banton had a career-high 30 points for the Trail Blazers in their third straight loss.

Portland (17-45) led by 12 points, but Houston pulled in front in the third quarter and stretched its lead to 99-88 on Jock Landale's 3 pointer with 8:45 left. The Rockets (28-35) led by 18 points down the stretch.

The Blazers were without DeAndre Ayton, who missed his fifth straight game with a sprained right wrist. Rookie Scoot Henderson and Malcolm Brogdon were also sidelined by longer-term injuries.

Jerami Grant, who missed Monday's game at Minnesota but returned for Portland's 128-120 loss to Oklahoma City, on Wednesday, was again unavailable because of right hamstring soreness. Jabari Walker sat out with a right hip contusion.

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Toumani Camara, who missed Wednesday's game because of illness, played for Portland.

"It's frustrating," Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. "The good thing is, we're trying to develop. So it does give the young guys an opportunity to get some game minutes. But what happens is you lose so many opportunities for chemistry and synergy with the starters and you're players that you depend on the most. So it's kind of a double-edged sword."

The Blazers led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter but Jabari Smith Jr.'s three-pointer tied it at 42 for Houston in the second. The Rockets moved in front briefly before halftime, but Portland took a 63-55 lead into the break.

Portland had 12 first-half 3-pointers but finished with 16.

Green followed up a steal and dramatic dunk over Simons with a layup to get the Rockets within 70-65. Green dunked again to close the gap to 77-76 and Cam Whitmore's basket gave the Rockets the lead.

Portland kept it close, trailing by just 92-87 going into the final period.

It was the second of four meetings between the two teams. The Blazers won the first in January.


Rockets: At Sacramento on Sunday night.

Trail Blazers: Host Toronto on Saturday night.


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