Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 113, Rockets 126


January 20, 2014


• Portland's 31-10 record is tied for its third-best mark at the midpoint of the season in team history (35-6, 1977-78; 34-7, 1990-91).

• LaMarcus Aldridge has recorded his third 20-point, 20-rebound game this season. No other NBA player has more than one.

• Damian Lillard's 131 3-pointers are the most by any NBA player at the halfway point (41 games) of his team's season (130-Ray Allen, '05-06).

• The Rockets set their season high in points in a 126-113 win over the Trail Blazers tonight. Houston finished 45-of-86 (.523) from the floor, as well as going 16-of-33 (.485) from downtown and 20-of-24 (.833) from the free throw line. The Rockets are now 13-3 in games when they shoot .500 or better from the field.

• Houston outrebounded the Blazers by +15 (52-37) tonight. The Rockets also took the battle of the boards by +17 (47-30) in a win earlier this season at Portland (11/5/13).

• The Rockets have now set new season highs in second-chance points in consecutive games. Houston set a season best in second-chance scoring with a 23-18 edge tonight. The Rockets had outscored the Bucks by 22-9 on second-chance points vs. Milwaukee (1/18/14) to set Houston’s previous high.

• LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 27 points (11-26 FG) and 20 rebounds tonight. Aldridge, who scored 31 points (12-22 FG) and grabbed 25 rebounds at Portland (12/12/13), now stands as the only Houston opponent over the last 25 seasons to post two 20-20 games against the Rockets in the same season.

• Damian Lillard totaled 24 points (7-17 FG, 7-8 FT) and five assists tonight. The Blazers now own a record of 24-6 this season when Lillard dishes out five or more assists in a game, with two of those losses coming at the hands of the Rockets.

• Chandler Parsons led the Rockets with a season-high 31 points (12-19 FG, 3-5 3FG, 4-4 FT) tonight, adding 10 rebounds, a team-high seven assists and two blocks. Parsons, who had a career-best 22 20-point outings in 2012-13, has already reached 20-plus points on 13 occasions this season. He also picked up his fifth double-double of the season.

• Donatas Motiejunas made his first start of the season, replacing an injured Terrence Jones (deep left thigh bruise). Motiejunas pulled down a career-high nine rebounds to go with nine points (4-8 FG).

• Dwight Howard posted 24 points (9-15 FG, 6-9 FT) and 12 rebounds tonight, marking his 13th 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season.

• James Harden registered 22 points (7-15 FG, 4-9 3FG), six rebounds and five assists tonight. It was the 10th time this season Harden has reached at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a game (Rockets record: 7-3).

• Pat Beverley returned to the lineup tonight after missing the last 14 games (12/23/13-1/18/14) following surgery on Dec. 23 to repair a fracture in his right hand. Beverley collected 17 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 3FG) and three assists.

• Omri Casspi came off the bench with 15 points (5-9 FG) and eight boards, while going 3-of-5 from beyond the arc to match his season high in 3-pointers made.



Damian Lillard

On Portland Trying To Make A Comeback:
“We let them get a lot of offensive rebounds and we missed a lot of shots we usually make. We didn’t take away the three point shot and even when we did cut the lead down, we just kept coming one loose ball and one rebound away from cracking the game and getting back into it. It seemed like every time we were right there, they turned around and hit a three and get an offensive rebound, and get fouled. It’s one of those games.”

On What Was The Halftime Message:
“We just wanted to pick up our energy. They were beating us to all the loose balls and they were playing free and easy and getting whatever they wanted. In the second half, we came out with more energy than we had in the first half, but I just think they had it tonight. They had a bounce in their step, they made three’s, they moved the ball well and we missed a lot of shots we usually make. It was a high scoring game and it was just their night.”


Nicolas Batum On His Injured Finger:
“I don’t know yet. They took x-rays. I got my finger stuck into someone, I don’t know who and I felt it crack and it’s the same finger I have had problems with. I did it on the last play before we came out (fourth quarter). I set a screen and I got slapped and it turned. They said (x-ray) that I have a crack on my finger. I need something to protect my finger.”


LaMarcus Aldridge On Portland Trying To Make A Comeback:
“We got close and we just couldn’t get over that hump. Our shots didn’t fall for us and they made tough shots and were able to get the win. We definitely didn’t make shots tonight and that was tough. We have to take care of tendencies better. They started off feeling comfortable and just ran with it. We have to make sure the other teams don’t feel that comfortable early.”

On The Rockets:
“They played great. They made shots and we didn’t have good starts in the first half and we weren’t able to get a cushion and they took advantage of it”


Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“Houston got off to great start. When they score eighteen points in four minutes that kind of set the tone for the whole game. That part of it was disappointing but it’s one of those games where they’re an explosive team and they made their three’s tonight. Some of that was on us, but I give Houston credit. They did what they do very well. They got to the rim, they got out in transition, they hit their three’s and Dwight was great in the paint. When they’re playing like that, they are a dynamic offensive team.”

On What The Difference Was Tonight:
“They (Houston) only had four offensive rebounds in the first half. They had seventy one points with only four offensive rebounds. When we were making a run in the second half, we had some good defensive possessions that ended up not getting the rebounds. Their offensive rebounds were much more of an effect in the second half. When we were playing some good defense, we just couldn’t come up with the ball.”

On Pat Beverley's Play:
“They (Houston) only had four offensive rebounds in the first half. They had seventy one points with only four offensive rebounds. When we were making a run in the second half, we had some good defensive possessions that ended up not getting the rebounds. Their offensive rebounds were much more of an effect in the second half. When we were playing some good defense, we just couldn’t come up with the ball.”


Patrick Beverley

On First Game Back After Injury:
“I felt good. I didn't want to go out there and be hesitant. I appreciate the coaches having that much trust in me. I was able to get the ball up and get some easy points with Chandler and James. We played the way we were supposed to play today.”

On His Role With The Team:
“I hang my hat on defense, and I try to create, that's what they have me (here) for. That's what I will keep doing every game. We have Sacramento next and they have beaten us twice, so that's our focus right now.”


Chandler Parsons On The Key To The Win:
“They (Portland) are a great team. They've been playing extremely well. They went into Dallas and San Antonio and beat those teams pretty easily, so they are playing extremely well. We knew they were going to score a lot of points, that's what they do, they lead the league in points. They also give up a lot of points. We wanted to make sure that we were getting out and we were running, and we understood that the more stops we could get, the more we could get out and we could put pressure on them. I thought we did a great job doing that early. We knew that they weren't going to give up. They are not the number one team in the west for no reason, so we just had to keep making plays and find a way to win.”

On Portland Cutting The Second-Half Lead To Six:
“I feel like we have been in that situation so many times, eventually we are going to start playing better and understand it more and be more comfortable in those situations. I thought we handled it a lot better tonight than we have in the past. We just have to stick with what works. A lot of times we get big leads and we start doing silly things and we start changing out offense. We can't afford to do that.”

On The Play Of Pat Beverley:
“With Patrick it is great to have that back on the court. We didn't have that intensity and fearlessness. He really brought it tonight, and we are glad to have him back.”


James Harden

On Tonight's Game:
“First of all, I am happy to have Pat Bev back. He brings a tremendous amount of energy and defensive effort to our team that we need. He did a phenomenal job at the end of the game, and that's the thing that we missed when we are put in that position.”

On 70-Point First Half, And Difference Between This Game And OKC:
“Having Pat Bev back. Him bringing that defensive energy as a point guard, and everybody was following behind it, that's the type of effort that we need from each and every guy every single night in order to be successful.”

On Difference Between The Second Half And Game Against OKC:
“We just held our composure, held our composure. They got a couple of calls and we just tried to play through it. We couldn't worry about what they were doing or anything. We had to figure out a way to fight through it and play harder, push the tempo a little harder and play defense. We did a good job with that.”


Dwight Howard

On Rockets Withstanding Portland's Run:
“We just stayed together. They (Blazers) made a run in the third quarter and instead of us complaining, we went back to the bench and talked about what we needed to do, and we got a good win against a very, very good team.”

On Pat Beverley:
“I think his performance tonight was amazing. He did an excellent job on Lillard. He made him take tough shots every time down. He pressured him the whole game, and that's what we need. I am happy he is back, and I am happy he is getting healthy.”


Kevin McHale

On Responding To Runs In Second Half
“I thought that we made a run, and got it down, and got an offensive rebound, and kicked it out, made a shot. We got a couple of run-outs. We had some really nice ball movement when the ball spun around. We just kept playing. 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.”

On Responding To A Good Second Half Team Like The Blazers:
“We just kept playing. We moved the ball pretty much, for the most part, well. (We) went in and got offensive rebounds. We had seventeen offensive rebounds which helped us a great deal. They ended up with fourteen, which was a problem in the first half. They were getting a lot of offensive rebounds. We just kept playing. Everybody thinks that there is some miraculous big secret, 'they had nineteen points and oh my goodness' ... well, the ball didn't go in. We missed layups and stuff. We just kept playing and pushing the ball. I thought Patrick (Beverley) gave us a huge lift. I thought his defense was tremendous. I thought we did a nice job on (LaMarcus) Aldridge, even though he ended up with twenty seven and twenty. He ended up with twenty six shots to get those, and so we did a nice job there. Damian (Lillard) was seven of seventeen. You can live with that. I thought Chandler (Parsons) was attacking. We had really good ball movement. We played off the catch early.”

On Pat Beverley:
“Patrick just brings a little bit of swagger. He just kind of gets out there and he says, if you beat him, 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, and the guys like him, and he moves the ball. He has no agenda when he plays besides play hard.”

On Stretches Of Small Ball:
“Chandler had 10 rebounds, so that really helped. I thought D-Mo had a nice game for us. He ended up with six fouls in 22 minutes, but I thought D-Mo did a nice job, and Omri (Casspi) came in and had eight rebounds, which was big. My biggest fear was when we went small, was that we were not going to be able to rebound the ball. We ended up doing a good job rebounding the ball.”