Simons, Lillard lead Trail Blazers past Rockets 107-95

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) drives around Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green...
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) drives around Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Houston.(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 8:12 PM PST
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HOUSTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 32 points and Damian Lillard added 25 as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 107-95 on Saturday night.

Portland led by as many as 22 points before Houston closed the gap to 11 points in the fourth quarter with 2:09 remaining and prompting the Trail Blazers to put their starters back in the game.

Jusuf Nurkic scored 14 points and Josh Hart added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Portland. Lillard added 10 assists and two steals.

Portland won for the fourth time in five games. The Blazers entered December with a record of 11-11 and have gone 6-2 this month.

Jalen Green led the Rockets with 15 points, and Kevin Porter Jr., Kenyon Martin Jr., and Tari Eason each added 13 points.

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Simons hit 11 of 21 shots from the field, including 5 of 14 from 3-point distance. He had a career-high 45 points two weeks ago in a 116-111 win over Utah.

Lillard had a relatively quiet night after topping 35 points in four of the previous five games. He went 7 of 20 from the field, including 5 of 13 from 3-point distance. On Monday, he matched a career high with 11 3s on 17 attempts.

The Rockets struggled from the field, especially from beyond the arc. Houston entered the fourth quarter 1 for 20 from long distance and finished the game 3 for 29.

Houston had a season-low 14 points in the third quarter, and Portland entered the fourth quarter up 20 points, 85-65.

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Trail Blazers: Jerami Grant was out with back spasms, Portland coach Chauncey Billups said before the game. … Justise Winslow had four steals.

Rockets: Houston outrebounded Portland 51-37, including 18 offensive rebounds. Sengun led Houston with eight rebounds, Porter added seven, and Usman Garuba had four offensive rebounds. … Sengun added three blocks. … Sengun and Smith were issued technical fouls.


Trail Blazers: Visit Oklahoma City on Monday night.

Rockets: Host San Antonio on Monday night.


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