What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Rockets: Game 3

by Casey Holdahl
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LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Dwight Howard

When LaMarcus Aldridge became just the third player in almost 30 years to record at least 46 points and 18 rebounds in a playoff game in Game 1 at Houston, he was in great company. In the record books yes, but he was literally in the company of the other two players inside the Toyota Center in Houston. The first to accomplish the feat since 1986, all-time great center Hakeem Olajuwon, was sitting courtside. The other, eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard, was one of Aldridge’s combatants during his storied night on Sunday. And Howard notched 27 points and 15 rebounds of his own while Aldridge broke Portland’s all-time record for points in a playoff game, supplanting Bonzi Wells and his 45 points on April 23, 2003. And while both players’ numbers may have exceeded expectations, we shouldn’t be too surprised by their success in that game, Game 2 (Aldridge – 43 points, 8 rebounds; Howard – 32 points, 14 rebounds) or the rest of this series. Aldridge has tallied better than 20 points every time these teams have met this year – six games that include the regular season and playoffs. And Howard has posted a double-double in each of the five contests in which he has suited up against Portland. These brilliant big men once again garner the spotlight in Game 3 and throughout this playoff series.

LaMarcus Aldridge

• Broke the Trail Blazers franchise playoff record with 46 points in Game 1 at Houston on Sunday (45-Bonzi Wells, 4/23/03 at Dallas)
• Became the first NBA player with consecutive playoff games of 43 points or more since Tracy McGrady (April 20-23, 2003)
• His 89 points in the his team’s first two playoff games are fewer than only Michael Jordan (1986, 1988) and Jerry West (1965) in the last 50 years

Dwight Howard

• In Game 1 at Houston, became the first Rocket to post a 25-point, 15-rebound game in the playoffs since Charles Barkley (5/13/99 vs. LA Lakers)
• Recorded a double-double in all five of his appearances against the Trail Blazers this season (including two playoff games)
• Named an NBA All-Star eight straight times (2007-14) and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons (2008-11)