HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets trailed by as many as 18 points midway through the first half before reducing the Portland Trail Blazers’ significant lead to 13 at the half. With better execution in the second half, the Rockets came within six points with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter in hopes of pulling off an improbable comeback on their home floor.
Alas, the Trail Blazers regained control of the game by outscoring the Rockets 14-6 in the final five minutes to send Houston to a 125-110 loss inside the Toyota Center Friday night.
With the loss, the Rockets fell to 14-35 on the season and extended their home losing streak to 10. Dec. 8 marked the last time the Rockets registered a home victory by defeating James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets.
Christian Wood had one of his most impressive performances of the season despite being a game-time decision due to migraine problems earlier in the day. Wood notched his fifth double-double over the course of the last seven games with 21 points and 15 rebounds in the loss to go along with two blocks.
Wood did not have to carry the scoring load alone against the Trail Blazers, as Garrison Mathews added 21 points of his own amid connecting on four triples. Mathews started in place of Kevin Porter Jr. — who entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols prior to the game.
Kenyon Martin jr. had his most suitable performance of the season by leading all reserves in scoring. Martin scored a season-best 17 points in 22 minutes and played a massive role in the Rockets near comeback victory.
Jalen Green recorded his first double-digit night in the scoring department after failing to achieve the feat in three consecutive games. But Green’s performance still displayed signs of what Silas described as a shooting slump during his pre-game interview.
Green connected on four out of his 11 shot attempts from the field, as he poured in 17 points in the loss to the Trail Blazers.
Portland has been without starting All-Star point guard Damian Lillard for 14 consecutive games, but the Trail Blazers have managed to put together a now 8-6 record in his absence due to the emergence of Anfernee Simons.
Simons, who came into the game averaging 23.0 points over the last nine contests, led the Trail Blazers in scoring with a game-high 27 points and half a dozen assists. C.J. McCollum contributed 26 points, while Jusuf Nurkic accounted for 25 points in the win.
After the loss, the Rockets will attempt to end their home losing skid on Monday against the 36-13 Golden State Warriors. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.