Blazers Finish First Trip Of The Season Tonight In Houston

by Casey Holdahl
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After playing three Eastern Conference teams, the Portland Trail Blazers (4-2) finish up their first road trip of the 2018-19 season with a familiar Western Conference foe, the Houston Rockets (1-4), Tuesday night at the Toyota Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Rockets lead, 109-84
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 51-45
AT THE ROCKETS: Rockets lead, 64-33
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 105-100, 3/30/17 (Portland)
LAST ROCKETS WIN: 96-94, 4/5/18 (Houston
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Four (Houston)

GAME NOTES

• Tuesday’s game marks the first of three meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Rockets during the 2018-19 season. Houston won the 2017-18 season series, 4-0.

LAST MEETING: Portland outscored Houston 23-12 in the fourth quarter, but came up just short of a victory as the Rockets beat the Trail Blazers in Houston, 96-94, on April 5. Chris Paul led Houston with 27 points and five assists while CJ McCollum had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists for Portland.

KEY STATISTIC: The Trail Blazers control 53.0% available rebounds, which is the fifth highest percentage in the league. Houston is second-to-last in the league in this metric, corralling 46.5% of all available rebounds.

• In three games against Houston last season, Damian Lillard averaged 28.0 points (44.6% FG, 34.5% 3-PT, 92.3% FT), 4.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists. Lillard made 10 free throws in each of his last two games against the Rockets and has attempted at least 10 free throws in three of his last five games against Houston.

• CJ McCollum averaged 19.0 points (40.3% FG, 22.2% 3-PT, 88.9% FT), 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in four games against the Rockets during the 2017-18 season. McCollum has made at least two three-pointers in eight of his last 10 games against Houston.

• In three games against the Rockets last season, Jusuf Nurkic averaged 14.3 points (57.1% FG, 33.3% FT), 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.33 blocks. Nurkic has recorded a double-double in three of his last four games against Houston, including the last two.

• In four games against the Trail Blazers last season, Chris Paul averaged 28.0 points (48.7% FG, 36.4% 3-PT, 92.3% FT), 5.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Paul has recorded a double-double in 19 of his 43 career games against the Trail Blazers,

• James harden averaged 38.0 points (53.7% FG, 60.0% 3-PT, 76.9% FT), 6.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in three games against Portland last season. Harden has scored at least 30 points in eight of his last 10 games against the Trail Blazers.

CONNECTION: Al-Farouq Aminu was teammates with Houston guard Eric Gordon during his rookie season with the LA Clippers in 2010-11.

CONNECTION: Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni served as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers during the 2000-01 season.

INJURY NOTES

Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless sat out Monday night's victory in Indianapolis with a sore left knee. His status for Tuesday's game is to be determined.

As for the Rockets, James Harden (left hamstring strain), Brandon Knight (left knee injury), Nenê (right calf strain) and James Ennis (right hamstring strain) are all out.

BROADCAST NOTES

Tuesday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. NBC Sports Northwest also streams 76 live games during the 2018-19 Trail Blazers season. NBA League Pass will also carry Tuesday night's game, though blackouts based on location apply.

Travis Demers, filling in for Brian Wheeler, and Casey Holdahl will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.