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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Parsons leads Rockets in blasting of Blazers

Chandler Parsons: 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists

Posted: January 20, 2014 -- 10:36 pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets scored 71 points in the first half Monday night; but, unlike Thursday's epic collapse, the Rockets continued pushing the pedal to the metal in the second half and raced past the Portland Trail Blazers 126-113.

The Rockets (28-15) jumped on the Blazers (31-10) in the first quarter shooting 73.9% (17 for 23) from the floor. Chandler Parsons scored 10 points in the quarter; and, all five starters scored at least six points.

Patrick Beverley started his first game in about 4 weeks; and, he knocked down two three-point shots to spark his teammates and the crowd.

Portland was helpless defending the Rockets through much of the ball game. The Rockets made all four of their three-point shots in the first quarter. However, when Portland left Dwight Howard alone in the post, Howard went to work with 15 points in the first half. When Portland double-down on Howard, the Rockets 6 of 9 three-point shots in the second quarter.

Houston led 71-56 at halftime thanks to 66.7% (28 for 42) field goal shooting including 10 for 13 (76.9%) from three point range.

With thoughts of Thursday's collapse versus Oklahoma City in everyone's heads, the Rockets avoided deja vu (all over again) with 35 points in the third quarter to match the Blazers' point for point and lead 106-91 after three quarters.

"We just kept playing," Kevin McHale said. "We were scoring in the third quarter. We were having a hard time stopping them; but, they were having a hard time stopping us. When you keep scoring the ball; and, you have a lead, usually, you will be okay."

Chandler Parsons scored a game-high 31 points for the Rockets. Parsons also added 10 boards and seven assists. 

Dwight Howard scored 24 points and snared 12 rebounds. 

James Harden stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.

"First of all, I am happy to have Pat Bev back," said James Harden. "He brings tremendous amount of energy and defensive effort to our team that we need."

Beverley added 17 points while Omri Casspi scored 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds off the bench.

"Patrick just brings a little bit of swagger," McHale said. "He just kind of gets out there and he says, if you beat, he says, 'Good for you. Try it again.' Some of our guys, they get scored on, they're like, 'Oh my goodness.' Patrick's like, he laces up his shorts and keeps going. It's no drama. He just plays hard."

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