Trail Blazers

Instant Analysis: Blazers blast by Rockets behind historic first half

Trail Blazers
USATI

Norman Powell meant it when he said the Portland Trail Blazers just want to win at “all costs.”

On Monday as the Trail Blazers hosted the Houston Rockets at Moda Center, the Blazers caused trouble for the short-handed Rockets early. Portland exploded from distance after tying an NBA record with 12 three-pointers to build a 17-point lead in the first quarter. The 50-point first quarter was a franchise record.

As the bench began chipping in during the second quarter, the three-point barrage continued. Behind CJ McCollum’s 26 points, the Blazers took a 79-63 lead at halftime.

But the pesky Rockets stuck around and wouldn't let the Blazers build too much of a cushion. Houston went on a 13-5 run to open the third quarter and the Blazers 16-point lead was erased to just nine. Damian Lillard, who had six points in the first half, lit up in the third quarter for 15 points to add to his total. 

 

An Armoni Brooks three-pointer cut Portland's lead to five points in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers responded with a 12-4 run to extend their lead to 13 again and the Rockets simply ran out of fuel down the stretch. 

Portland secured the 140-129 victory over Houston and are now 40-29 on the season.

FINAL BOX SCORE: Trail Blazers 140 Rockets 129

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The Good: 

It was a memorable first half for the Blazers! Not only did they score 50 points in the first quarter for the first time in franchise history, but Portland also tied an NBA record for made 3s in a single quarter with 12. Ultimately, the Trail Blazers tied a franchise record by hitting 14 3-pointers in the first half.

The Blazers trio of CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Damian Lillard were extremely effective. Portland's three-guard lineup combined for 90 points on the night, while Big man Jusuf Nurkic added 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. 

The Bad: 

Despite the Blazers hot shooting, the Rockets still hung around and scored 63 points at halftime. Houston cut the deficit to just 10 points with 8:03 left in the third quarter following a D.J. Augustin 25-footer three-pointer.

The Rockets chipped away at the Blazers lead to cut it within 5 points in the fourth quarter, but Portland responded. 

The Highlight:

The first half was a three-point thriller. Here’s a look at every shot the Blazers had from distance in the opening quarter.

The Stat: 

With the win, Coach Terry Stotts now has his 400th win as head coach of the Trail Blazers.

 

Next up:

Portland (40-29) will hit the road on Wednesday for back-to-back games vs. the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns before concluding the regular season at home against the Denver Nuggets. Wednesday’s game at Utah tips off at 6:30 p.m. on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.