Jason Friedman

Playoff basketball is the best.

David Hardisty

Tie game, 2.9 seconds left.

David Hardisty

Harden fouled on a mid-range shot, going to the line with 7.8 sec left. He makes BOTH. 106-104 Rockets. Timeout Portland.

David Hardisty

Lillard for three. All tied up.

Jonathan Feigen

Howard nails both free throws. Pretty wild stuff. Rockets up 3, 32.4 left.

David Hardisty

Dwight Howard makes BOTH free throws. Seriously. Rockets up 104-101, 32.4 sec left.

Jonathan Feigen

Lin misses on a drive, but Howard fouled on rebound. Goes to line -- I kid you not - with 32.4 left in a one-point game.

David Hardisty

LaMarcus Aldridge now has 41 points and 16 rebounds. Rockets have no answer for him. 102-101 Rockets, 42.1 left. McHale calls timeout.

David Hardisty

Aldridge loses the ball then Harden drives, scores and gets fouled! Rockets 102, Blazers 99, 0:55 left. Harden going to the line.

Jonathan Feigen

Jones has little chance on Aldridge. Howard was set to check back in when Jones fouled with 2:05 left, will wait last 5 secs of hack time..

Jonathan Feigen

Blazers on an 11-0 run since Howard hit his first two hack-a-Dwight free throws. Tie game.

Jason Friedman

Well now. Lillard and Aldridge have turned this game on its ear. 13-pt lead gone as LMA and-1 evens things with 2:44 left.

David Hardisty

That just happened. Lillard blows past Lin for two, Lin loses the ball, Aldridge three-point play. All tied at 98.

Jonathan Feigen

McHale pulls Howard with 3:29 left.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets problem as much on other end. Blazers have scored on all three possessions since they started intentionally fouling.

Jason Friedman

Hack-a-Howard obviously inflating the numbers but Rox likely to reach their season average for FTAs/game (31.1) after shooting 0 in 1st half

Jonathan Feigen

Stotts going all in on the hack-a-Dwight. He made his first two, then missed next four.

Jonathan Feigen

With 4:30 left, Blazers pull out the hack-a-Dwight. He is 1 of 4 from the line.

David Hardisty

Here comes Hack-a-Howard.

Jonathan Feigen

Lopez then fouls Howard. Bennett taking over.

Jason Friedman

And for all of Rockets' early issues on offensive glass, HOU now holds 20-12 edge in second chance points.

David Hardisty

Robin Lopez was getting in Dwight's face and was just now whistled for a tech. Rockets now up 11.

Jonathan Feigen

Lopez barking at Dwight until Salvatore pushes him away and then hit him with a T.

Jason Friedman

Can understand why Portland would be loathe to send double-team help for Lopez. But Dwight is just obliterating him.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets going pretty deep into the fourth quarter with Jones, Harden on bench. Would think time to get a bigger body on Aldridge.

Jonathan Feigen

Lillard stays in game. Seems OK.

Jonathan Feigen

Lillard ran into a Dwight screen. In a good deal of pain on Blazers bench.

Jonathan Feigen

Apparently, the Rockets acquired Dwight Howard between the third and fourth quarters.

Jonathan Feigen

Ruled a flagrant-1. Two shots and the ball with Rockets up 7, 7:44 left.

Jonathan Feigen

Officials go to video to consider a flagrant. Really wasn't, but good stuff, anyway.

Jonathan Feigen

Beverley fouled hard again. This time, he's skipping.

Jason Friedman

Pat Beverley now has 3 offensive rebounds - right near his average vs PDX this season. Btw, he led all PGs in offensive rebound rate this yr

Jason Friedman

Think we're about to get an answer on the "how long does LMA sit? question. 7-0 run fueled by D12, Beverley has HOU up 13 early 4Q.

Jonathan Feigen

Howard takes Lopez to rim on consecutive possessions. Still no double team. After Beverley 3, Stotts get TO to get Aldridge back in down 13.

David Hardisty

Pat Beverley for three! Timeout Portland, Rockets back up by 13, 10:10 left in the game.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets 79, Blazers 73 after 3. Aldridge with 24, 12 in 31 minutes. Howard has to show up to start fourth.

Jason Friedman

Rockets take 79-73 lead to 4Q. Harden had 13 pts in 3Q. Interesting to see how long, if at all, Aldridge rests in final frame.

David Hardisty

Heading to the fourth, it's 79-73 Rockets. Parsons 22p, Harden 20p. After shooting zero FTs in first half, Rockets shot 14 in 3Q alone.

Jonathan Feigen

Lillard blows past Parsons. Asik fouls him for his fifth. Half the Rockets team raised their hands saying foul was on them.

Jason Friedman

Harden going to line for HOU's 11th and 12th FTs of the quarter. Portland has attempted one this period.

Jonathan Feigen

So much for opening it up late in quarter. Rockets offense stumbles badly with turnovers, missed 3s. Lead down to four.

Jonathan Feigen

Blazers turning to bench with 4 minutes left in third. Portland bench 1 of 12 for 3 points. Harden, Lin, Jones could open it up a bit here.

Jonathan Feigen

Robinson splattered Beverley, who seems very happy about that.

Jason Friedman

You know that NBA commercial where players sprout 8 arms and move like they're in the Matrix? That's what Beverley is playing like right now

Jonathan Feigen

Crowd screaming until J.J. Watt puts on his shirt. Folks are now very pleased.

David Hardisty

J.J. Watt in the house, being told to put on his Rockets shirt on the jumbotron... and he's doing it.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets bench goes nuts that Aldridge did not get T for shouting at Salvatore. Officials cranked up emotions here. Hou up 10 on 12-3 run.

David Hardisty

12-3 Rockets run to start the third and the TC is electric. Timeout Portland, Rockets up 61-51, 8:26 3Q.

Jason Friedman

Pat Beverley doing Pat Beverley things. Go read @SI_LeeJenkins's terrific piece on PB during the commercial break.

Jonathan Feigen

Howard picks up his fourth just three minutes into the second half. Asik back in, has three.

Jonathan Feigen

Beverley D on Lillard was terrific, but can't lose composure here. Always a fine line with him when cranks up the D that high.

Jonathan Feigen

Pat Beverley hounded Lillard for 14 seconds, was called for reaching in. Bennett Salvatore add a T for, something. He jumped around a bit.

David Hardisty

Sarcastic cheer sweeps the arena as refs whistle a foul on a Dwight Howard drive. Rockets shooting their first free throw of the night.

Jonathan Feigen

Howard going to line for Rockets first free throws. Crowd gives call a standing ovation.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets did good job dumping nightly science quiz to halftime, using tos during game for fire up crowd stuff. Sam Cooke would approve.

David Hardisty

The view from sec 106 of the Rockets playoff video and player intro tonight. Place was on fire (literally). youtube.com/watch?v=XgakG1…

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets 49, Blazers 48 as Harden his step-back 3, his first in six attempts. Rockets zero FTA. Aldridge 16, 11; Parsons 17, 5.

Jason Friedman

After missing first 5 3s he attempted, Harden hits 1 before half to give HOU 49-48 lead at half. Lots of weird trends that likely won't last

David Hardisty

HALF: Rockets 49, Blazers 48. Blazers go on 15-5 run over final 2:35 of half. Free throws: PDX 17, HOU 0 (zero!).

Jonathan Feigen

Now Harden on Aldridge, which went about as well as you'd expect. Garcia picks up the foul.

Jonathan Feigen

With both Rockets centers sitting with three fouls, Francisco Garcia in at the four, matched up with Aldridge.

Jason Friedman

So after Rockets rolled off 24-6 run, Portland has responded with 11-2 run of their own. And D12 has joined Asik with 3 fouls.

Jonathan Feigen

Howard dropped ball on Lopez, who he put on the ground fighting for rebound position.

David Hardisty

1:45 left in the half and Rockets have not shot a single free throw this game. Portland has shot 13. Fans chanting "Refs you suck".

Jonathan Feigen

Howard picks up his second and third fouls on consecutive possessions, and then adds a technical.

Jason Friedman

HOU, btw averaged 31.8 FTs per contest against Portland this season – a mark that’s actually a smidge above its season average of 31.1.

Jason Friedman

Blazers don't usually foul much, but HOU -- No. 1 team all year in FTs per game -- still at zero FTs w/ 2:06 left in half.

Jonathan Feigen

Among the many big differences between first and second quarters, Rockets with 1 turnover and have allowed 0 2nd chance points in 2nd Q.

Jonathan Feigen

Parsons averaged 17.5 vs.Blazers during the season, has 17 in 17 minutes tonight as he heads to bench. Dwightmobiles for everybody.

Jonathan Feigen

Lin with a terrific move and drive. He missed, but saved the rebound and fed Jones. Tossed oop to Howard on previous possession.

Jason Friedman

Harden and Howard a combined 3-of-14 from field. So naturally HOU up 40-33 mid 2Q. Parsons, Lin, Jones outstanding picking up slack.

David Hardisty

Beautiful save by Jeremy Lin to Terrence Jones under the hoop for a slam! Rockets now up 40-33. Timeout Portland, 5:49 2Q.

David Hardisty

Rockets right now should probably be scrambling to take down Harden, Howard artwork and replace them with Chandler Parsons posters.

Jonathan Feigen

If Parsons keeps going like this, he might soon buy his own Ferrari. (Dan Fegan is here and thinking something like that.)

Jonathan Feigen

With Lillard, Mo Williams in together, Parsons matches up on Lillard.

Jonathan Feigen

W/ nothing else working, Parsons, Jones, Lin just drive Rockets back to a tie game w/ energy. Still might need Harden, Howard at some point.

Jason Friedman

9-2 HOU run to start 2Q. During reg season Rox took advantage of POR depth issues, too, compiling o-rating of 102.8, D-rating of 88.1 in 2Q.

David Hardisty

Terrence Jones goes to the offensive glass, grabbing his 8th reb, then slams it home. All tied up now. Timeout Portland. Fans back into it.

Jonathan Feigen

Harden now 1 of 7. Passed up an open 3, then realized and launched it. He's struggling in all kinds of ways.

Jason Friedman

For all their myriad issues to start, HOU only down 2. Parsons a big reason why. He's basically only Rockets hitting shots, has team-high 12

David Hardisty

Chandler Parsons was big in last year's playoffs and he's strong out of the gate tonight. He's got 12 points. Rockets down 29-27.

Jonathan Feigen

Aldridge leaves. Pretty sure he will come back since he headed to a restroom.

Jonathan Feigen

As had so often in regular season, Rockets getting killed on boards (Portland 8 off. rebounds) and turning it over (with 5 to Portland's 1.)

Jason Friedman

LMA's reg. season domination of Rox carried over to 1Q. Still waiting for Harden & D12 to do same. Both had ample good looks, didn't convert

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets led NBA in FTA this season. Took zero in first quarter.

David Hardisty

Blazers 27, Rockets 20 after one. Story of the first quarter: Harden, Howard really struggled, a combined 2-11 from the field.

Jonathan Feigen

Asik offensive foul for a moving screen Rockets fifth turnover and his second foul. Moments later, he reaches on Aldridge. Three fouls.

David Hardisty

Omer Asik whistled for his third foul already.

Jason Friedman

If chicks digged missed open 3s and bunnies around the rim, these guys would each have a harem awaiting them after 1Q.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets getting killed on their defensive boards and turning the ball over. Sometimes, regular season not different from post-season.

David Hardisty

The Blazers are good, but they're not this good defensively. Dwight, Harden a combined 1-8. Rockets down 21-15. JLin checking in.

Jonathan Feigen

Lin in for Harden. Usually in for Beverley here. McHale might want Beverley on Lillard, but might be trying to get Harden to chill, too.

Jason Friedman

Portland with 5 offensive boards on 12 misses so far. Blazers picking on HOU's season-long bugaboo right from the outset.

Jonathan Feigen

Howard, Harden a combined 1 of 8. That can be something of a problem. Aldridge with 10p, 5r and 2 blocks in eight minutes.

Jonathan Feigen

As expected, Asik in for Jones. Asik checks Aldridge with Howard on Robinson.

Jonathan Feigen

Rockets switched Parsons to Matthews. That can cause trouble, too. When had Garcia on Brewer, he killed Rockets on cross match on breaks.

Jason Friedman

And here we go: at 4:47 mark, we get first look at supersized lineup with Howard and Asik.

Jason Friedman

HOU comes out of timeout, runs pet play of elbow pnr w/ Harden/Howard that usually results in alley-oop dunk. POR all over it. Playoff bball

Jason Friedman

Ragged start for Rox who trail 14-8. Mentioned this in preview: Portland starting 5 actually outscored HOU by 36 pts in 72 mins this season

Jonathan Feigen

Howard dominated Blazers in regular season. So far, Lopez playing him man-to-man with little help. Howard 0 for 3 with a turnover.