Lillard leads Trail Blazers past Rockets 117-107

But it was Damian Lillard and the Blazers who had the last laugh, taking down the visitors 117-107. Since his arrival, the Blazers are 14-6, and now hold a 2-game lead over the Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

In the four games since suffering the injury, Harden has averaged 30.8 points, 13.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds in 37.8 minutes. The Nuggets will play six of their last eight games on the road. McCollum equals a 13-3 record in March. The five walked off the Moda Center floor with their Houston Rockets teammates Thursday night trying to quickly forget about what had just occurred.

Jusuf Nurkić, who has quickly become a fan favorite since arriving in a mid-season trade, broke his leg and will be out at least 2 weeks. Allen Crabbe was 3-for-5 from downtown with 17 points and Moe Harkless also scored 17. Eric Bledsoe scored 19 points in that game, and it was his final game as the Suns have opted to shut him down along with Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler. The Rockets ended up tying the game at 105 with 2:29 left, but the Blazers went on a 12-2 run to end the game and shoot the Rockets' comeback bid to smithereens. But when the teams met Tuesday, the Warriors stormed out of Houston with a 113-106 victory, and, having lost consecutive games for the first time since March 6-8, the Rockets will be aiming to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season in Friday's rematch. Safe to say, the Blazers got the right end of the trade, right?

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The brands' new tagline is "the great American burger" and instead focuses instead on quality and innovation in fast-food burgers. The elder Hardee will goes up against his son as the two tackle the Jr.'s play boy-like ad campaign while the father was away.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni had often used Nene against the more physical centers, such as the Blazers' 7-0, 280-pound Jusuf Nurkic.

A big reason why the Nuggets have exceeded expectations so far this season is because they sport one of the hottest offences in the National Basketball Association this season, and since the All-Star break they have been scorching hot. The Blazers could wind up being a tough first-round foe for Golden State or San Antonio, the only teams ahead of Houston in the West.

"I think our players are growing in all areas", Phoenix coach Earl Watson said. G James Harden has led the Rockets in assists in all but one game this season.

  • Lawrence Cooper