HOUSTON, Nov. 12 (Ticker) -- Steve Francis is making a habit out of dominating the second half.

Francis scored 22 of his 30 points after halftime, including the final 14 points for the Houston Rockets, who rallied for an 86-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Francis was limited to eight points in the first half on Saturday before finishing with 31 in a win over Golden State. He duplicated the feat against Portland, doing most of his damage in the final eight minutes.

The Rockets trailed by 10 at halftime but pulled within striking distance before Francis took over. The NBA's second-leading scorer accounted for 16 of the last 18 points for Houston, including the final six baskets.

"I was feeling pretty loose," he said. "The defense gave it to me. I probably forced one shot after the end of the first half."

"Francis took over the game," Portland coach Maurice Cheeks admitted. "I thought we had good defense on him. When he's making his jump shot, he's tough to stop."

Francis gave the Rockets their first lead of the fourth quarter when he and Cuttino Mobley connected on a spectacular alley-oop dunk to make it 78-76 with 4:02 left.

He buried a three-pointer with 1:39 to go and, after a layup by Portland's Arvydas Sabonis, gave Houston the lead for good at 85-83 with a driving underhand layup over Dale Davis with 20 seconds to go.

The Rockets' defense came through at the other end as Eddie Griffin and Kenny Thomas stopped Sabonis from getting an easy layup. Griffin blocked the shot and Thomas saved it from going out of bounds.

"The last few years, I've played some center," Thomas said. "I had to guard Shaq and Alonzo. My instincts told me to get over and help Eddie."

"The last play was awesome," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Eddie was holding him off and Kenny came over to help. The defense did it for us."

Francis missed a chance to put away the game when he made just 1-of-2 free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining. But Blazers forward
Rasheed Wallace missed a three-pointer as time expired.

Griffin had 14 points and nine rebounds and Thomas added 12 and nine for the Rockets, who have won four of their last five games.

Davis, Sabonis, Bonzi Wells and Scottie Pippen each scored 12 points for Portland, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Wallace was held to a season-low nine points on 2-of-14 shooting but grabbed nine rebounds.

Francis' fourth-quarter performance was even more spectacular after he was nearly knocked out in the third. He was driving to the basket with 4:43 left and was tangled with Wallace in mid-air.

Francis landed on his right side and writhed in pain on the floor. He remained in the game and buried two free throws as part of a 9-0 run that gave Houston a 59-58 lead at 2:03.

"I honestly couldn't tell what happened," Francis said. "(Wallace is) not a dirty type of player. He was going for the ball. It was a fluke play. It was just something that happened."

"He's a warrior," Tomjanovich said. "There was no doubt in my mind that if he could walk, he was going to play. He's a tough guy."