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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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Oladipo scores 25 in Rockets' 104-101 win over Blazers
POSTED: January 28, 2021 -- 11:57 p.m. CT
HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets edged the Washington Wizards 104-101 Thursday night. Houston has won four straight, marking its longest winning streak since a six-game span from February 11 to February 29, 2020.
Victor Oladipo had a team-high 25 points. Oladipo has scored 20 or more points in four of his five games as a Rocket and in nine of his 14 games played overall this season. Vic is averaging 22.2 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game and 4.8 assists per game with Houston.
Portland lit up the Rockets in the first quarter. The Trail Blazers (9-8) led the Rockets 32-17 at the end of the first 12 minutes. Houston trailed by as much 20 (30-10) in the quarter. Houston clanged 14 of 16 three-point attempts in the quarter.
Christian Wood, in his first game back since spraining his right ankle last week, was a non-factor in the first quarter. Wood had 0 points (0 for 2 from three) and 0 rebounds in the quarter.
Wood shook off his rust in the second quarter and 14 points (5 for 5 field goals, 4 for 4 free throws) and 6 rebounds in the second quarter. Victor Oladipo scored 8 in the quarter and John Wall scored 6 in the second.
Houston outscored Portland 36-18 in the second period. The Blazers made only 7 of 22 field goal attempts in the second quarter including just 2 of 10 three-point shot attempts.
Houston led Portland 53-50 at halftime.
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Houston stretch its lead to 10 points three times in the first four minutes of the third quarter; however, Portland guard Gary Trent Jr sank back-to-back threes during an 8-0 run to cut Houston's lead to 66-64 with 6:50 remaining in the third period.
The Rockets responded with a 17-6 run the next five minutes to lead 83-70 with 1:33 left in the period. Five different Rockets scored during the big run.
Houston led Portland 86-77 after three quarters. Gary Trent Jr, once again, heated up in the ball game. Trent Jr made 3 three-point shots during a 12-0 Blazers' run to put Portland ahead 88-86 with 10:01 remaining in the game.
Houston's Danuel House Jr converted a three-point play to put Houston on top 89-88 9:16 on the clock. Portland missed 3 consecutive shots and turned over the ball two times during a dry spell for the Blazers. But, the Rockets only scored 3 points during the stretch which helped Portland stay in the game.
With 3:51 on the game clock, Portland took a 96-95 lead after a tip-in by big man Enes Kanter. Neither team scored until John Wall made 2 free throws to put Houston ahead 97-96 with 2:17 on the game clock.
Lillard committed a turnover; and, on Houston's next possession, P.J. Tucker scored his only 2 points of the game with a putback layup. Houston led Portland 99-96 with 1:42 left in the game.
The Blazers hung around and had a chance to tie the game at 104 with 2.1 seconds left in the game. After a timeout, Portland's Anfernee Simons missed a long three-point shot attempt at the buzzer to ice the Rockets' victory.
Houston won by three points despite trailing by as many as 20 in the first quarter. Entering tonight, the Rockets were 0-8 in games in which they trailed by double-digits. Houston improves to 4-2 in games decided by five or fewer points this season (8-7 in 2019-20), including 3-1 by three or fewer (4-5 in 2019-20).
The Rockets held Portland to 101 points on 41.9% shooting. Houston has held the opposition below 110 points in each of the past five games, tying its longest streak from 2019-20. Dating back to last season, the Rockets are 28-5 when opponents score below 110 points and 26-6 when the opposition shoots below 45.0%.
Christian Wood had 22 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season after missing the previous three games due to injury. Wood has scored 20 or more points in 12 of his 13 games played. That's tied for the third-most by a Rocket through a player's first 13 games played in a season (Elvin Hayes w/13 in 1969-70 and James Harden w/13 in 2017-18).
John Wall had 20 points and has scored 20 or more in consecutive games for the first time since the first two games of the season. He has scored 20 or more points in five of his 10 games played overall as a Rocket. Wall also had a team-high 6 assists with 2 turnovers tonight and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.80 over the past three games.
Danuel House Jr. led the Rockets' bench with 11 points in 19 minutes of play. He had 2 points in 14 minutes played vs. Washington on January 26 after missing the previous 11 games. House has scored in double-figures in three of his six games played this season.
The Rockets next game is scheduled for Saturday, January 30, in New Orleans, versus the New Orleans Pelicans. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central Time.
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