CJ McCollum reached a career height of nine three-point points and finished the race with 44 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to their maiden win of that season, there was a hard-fought 128- 126 win in extra time against the Houston Rockets.
McCollum’s last three-pointer of the night ended the biggest when he fired and hit from the left wing, proving the game winner at 6. 3 seconds of overtime left.
Portland’s Robert Covington stole James Harden’s pass on subsequent possession of the Rockets, and the Blazers (1-1) saved the ball for victory.
McCollum made 9 out of 16 threes on the night, with four of the three coming in the third quarter. In addition to his big scoring, McCollum also had eight assists. Damian Lillard added 32 points and nine assists. Jusuf Nurkic finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Harden got McCollums 44 points and also had 17 assists for the Shorthanded Rockets (0-1), who only had nine players to play.
– Nurkic scores for the blazers for the first overtime hours. At the other end, PJ Tucker hits corner three. Then Nurkic scores again. The blazers lead it 117-116 with 3:50 left in OT. Then Harden meets to bring Houston to 118-117. McCollum responds with a foul line jumper which is good. Portland rises between 119 and 118. After the missiles are empty, Lillard finds Derrick Jones Jr. . for the alley-oop dunk. The blazers lead with three at 121-118. House’s shot is short and McCollum hits the baseline jumper at the other end. Portland leads 123-118 into extra time with 2:03. McCollum now has 41 points and eight assists. Lillard has 30 points and seven templates. Nurkic with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. For Houston, Harden has 38 points and 16 assists, while Christian Wood has 29 points and 13 rebounds. Wood scores inside to shorten the blazer’s lead to 123-120. The blazers still have 1 minute in OT. McCollum’s third corner doesn’t work. The missiles get it back. Harden goes backwards three, and the game is tied at 123-123 with 38. 6 seconds left. Portland time out. Lillard drives and scores to get the blazers to 125-123. The Rockets cross the courtyard with a 25 second lead in OT. At 15, Harden hits another step backwards three. 3 more seconds. The missiles now carry 126-125. Portland time out. Now harden with 44 points. The entrance to Lillard. He goes to McCollum, who hits a three from the wing, and the blazers go up by 6 to 128-126. 3 more seconds. Timeout missiles. McCollum brings Harden together with 44 points. Now the missiles are back. The entrance from House to Harden. He tries to pass, but Covington steals and the game ends. The blazers edge the Rockets 128-126 in the extension.
– Tie 113-113, and the Blazers got the ball at 38. 9 seconds left. McCollum comes to Nurkic, who gives Lillard for a three-pointer. His shot is out, but Tucker only has one foul on Nurkic. So Nurkic 32 seconds ahead of the line. The piece is being reviewed for a Rockets challenge. The call stands. Nurkic missed both free throws. The blazers throw the ball away from Harden at 21. 4 more seconds. The call on the floor is Houston Ball, but it appears to have gone from Harden. So the piece is still being examined. Blazer Ball with 21. 7 seconds left. Lillard brings it to the floor. He’s got Tucker with him. He drives but his baseline jumper is off and the game is about to work overtime, which is between 113 and 113.
– Lillard hits two free throws after fouling his drive. The blazers run it 104-98. Less than 4 minutes. Harden drives and scores a layup. Make it 104-100. Covington does it on Nurkic’s pass. Now Harden is fouled. Timeout blazer, with 106-100 and 3:19. Harden hits a three. McCollum responds with his career-best eighth threesome of the game. The blazers run 109-103. Jae’Sean Tate then scores a layup to reduce the lead to 109-105. Lillard scores with 111-105. House is fouled on his way into the alley. House hits the first free throw and also the second. Blazers lead it 111-107 as the clock goes under 2 minutes to play. Christian Wood hits inside to tie it at 111-111. Lillard hits inside and the blazers rise again at 113-111. Harden scores inside and it’s 113-113 with 38. 9 seconds to play. Time out.
– The missiles are given two baskets in a row to pull within 92-91. Then they go up between 93 and 92 when Christian Wood scores. Then Enes Kanter puts in Carmelo Anthony’s miss and the blazers lead 94-93. Until 6:30 in the game. Harden hits a three and Houston leads 96-94. But McCollum responds with his seventh three of the game. Harden drives and scores, and the Rockets run it 98-97. Now Lillard has fouled and the blazers are still in possession. McCollum finds Lillard for three. Portland leads 100-98. Nurkic ricochets off a missile bug. Lillard is fouled on his way to the basket. Nurkic finds McCollum for an open dunk and the blazers go up between 102 and 98. Timeout to play Houston at 4:44.
– Enes Kanter makes two free throws and the Blazers go back at 11:16 at 86-85 to play in the game. McCollum pulls into the lane, sets them up and down. He now has 29 points. David Nwaba Dunks. The blazers run it 88-87. Anthony hits a jumper. Rodney Hood is bringing charges. Covington’s three are short. A little later, a blazer theft causes a Covington to disappear from the support of Anthony. The Blazers rise 92-87 and the Rockets call for a 9:10 timeout to get into play.
– James Harden is fouled when shooting a three and takes all three free throws. Then CJ McCollum knocks down his fourth three of the quarter. The blazers run 78-77. Now Harden is fouled and split two free throws so the game is a tie at 78-78. McCollum drives and scores on a layup. A missile bug and then a McCollum bug on a three. David Nwaba scores for the 80-80. Carmelo Anthony checks in at 4:14 for Covington to leave in third. House is fouled and both do free throws to bring the Rockets to the top at 82-80. The Rockets extend their lead with a free throw from Harden. Then Tucker missed two free throws. Anfernee Simons hits a three to tie the game at 83-83. A Derrick Jones Jr. . Free throw brings the Blazer to 84-83. A little later, Lillard falls short with a three-pointer. The third corner of the house is off. With less than a minute before the end of the quarter, the three of Simons won’t fall. Then Wood finishes it off. Simon’s corner three doesn’t work. Lillard’s attempt at layup won’t fall either. But at 24, Portland can no longer be reached. 7 seconds left in the quarter. Enes Kanter is traveling and the missiles get it back. Houston turns it around. Anthony goes on to Covington, who travels with 0. 5 on the clock. The quarter ends and Houston leads it 85-84.
– Lillard feeds McCollum with a three-pointer. After Wood hits, McCollum hits another three and the Rockets’ lead has dropped to 74-71. McCollum goes to Nurkic and he’s fouled on the drive. McCollum now has up to 19 points. Nurkic hits 1 of 2 free throws. McCollum again for three. That’s three in the quarter. And the blazers go up to 75-74 at 7:07 to land in the third. Houston is taking time out.
– After Christian Wood makes it, Houston leads 70-58. A little later, Harden fouls and takes both free throws. McCollum’s three are short. PJ Tucker’s three are no good. Then Robert Covington hits a three for the blazers, which draw within 72-61. Covington is driving and he’s fouled. He hits both free throws. Then a Derrick Jones Jr. . steal and dive makes it 72-65. Houston takes a 9:06 break to move into the third.
– James Harden had 17 points and 10 assists in the first half. Damian Lillard led the blazers with 21 points while CJ McCollum had 13 points and four assists.
– McCollum makes a three and the Rockets lead 59-47. Blazer continues and McCollum empties a sweater. Hood tries to bring charges but is instead whistled for a blocking foul against House. He missed both free throws. Lillard drives and walks up and down for the layup. The blazers cut it to individual digits at 59-51. Harden and Lillard trade free throws and it’s 61-53. Harden turns it over and Lillard immediately pushes a three-pointer to cut the missile guide to 61-56. Now Harden is fouled and both of them take free throws. Houston is up 63-56 and has 1:04 left in the second quarter. Harden hits a three and the Rockets’ lead is back to 10 at 66-56. McCollum rolls in a short sweater. Harden’s three won’t go, but the missiles get a second and third chance and Tate scores. The half ends and Houston leads it 68-58.
– Jae’Sean Tate has scored seven points in a row for Houston, and the Rockets are leading by 45-32, 7 minutes from time. Derrick Jones Jr. . fouled, and he makes 1 of 2 free throws. After a missile failure, the blazers turn him over. Harden lobs to Wood for the dunk. Then Anfernee Simons hits a three and the Rockets lead with 47-36. Jones fouls David Nwaba who takes both free throws. Lillard checks in after Simons and the blazers all have their starters out there again. Now missiles are stealing and Nwaba are diving in. Lillard falls in a three and Houston leads 51-39. After a Harden Three, Lillard drives and scores, and he’s fouled. He converts the three point game. Wood scores for Houston. Then McCollum waves a sweater. Houston leads by 57-44. Nurkic’s layup won’t fall. Then Tucker hits a jumper for a 59-44 lead with 3:15 to play in the half.
– David Nwaba from Houston falls into a layup. A little later, the Anfernee Simons drives the blazer and is fouled. Simons does 1 of 2 free throws to make it 33-28 for the missiles. After a turnover in Houston, Enes Kanter scores a 33-30 hit. Christian Wood makes two free throws after being fouled and the Rockets lead them by 35-30 early in the second quarter. After Wood scores, the blazers have exceeded sales. Missiles carry it 37-30. Anthony dirties Wood, who takes his turn for free throws. He hits 1 of 2. After an empty possession in Portland, Tate layup and it’s 40-30 for the Rockets with 8:16 to play in the second quarter.
– CJ McCollum’s third corner brings the blazers back up at 22-20. Then PJ Tucker drives and hits to tie it at 22-22. James Harden hits a layup. Carmelo Anthony misses a short sweater. After Harden loses it, Anthony pulls a three off the wing to give the Blazers a 25-24 lead. Jae’Sean Tate hits a couple of free throws for Houston. Then Enes meets Kanter for the blazers. On the next trip, Kanter gets an offensive ricochet, but then the blazers are whistled for an injury to the shot clock. Anthony set it up but didn’t pull an iron. The blazers are between 27 and 26. House hits a three for the Rockets. Gary Trent Jr. . missed a three. Harden drives, Kanter challenges and Harden pulls the foul with 2. 5 seconds left in the quarter. Harden hits both free throws. The quarter ends and the missiles lead it 31-27.
– Christian Wood’s jump shot rolls in and the blazers are 12-8 ahead. Nurkic’s hook is short this time. McCollum’s shot is out. Christian Wood does it for Houston. Nurkic keeps ownership of the blazers alive with offensive rebounds twice, but they fail to capitalize. A little later, Lillard hits on a backdoor layup, and then McCollum drives and is fouled. He does 1 of 2 free throws and the Blazers lead it 15-10 with 5:14 to go into the first. Sterling Brown empties a three for the missiles. Jusuf Nurkic is fouled and makes 1 of 2 free throws. Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood are now checking in for Covington and Jones. Brown drives in for a layup. Then Hood hits corner three. Now House hits, and then Brown hits corner three to give the Rockets a 20:19 lead, with 3:59 in the first.
– After CJ McCollum missed a three, James Harden drives and scores. Then Jusuf Nurkic misses a three and Christian Wood hits a jumper. Nurkic put Portland on the board with a hook shot to score the 4-2 in Houston. McCollum with a pass to Damian Lillard, and he hits a three in the rhythm. The blazers lead it 5-4 early. PJ Tucker looks for wood on the rag, but it’s bad lining. Lillard hits three more. Then the missiles flip it over so the blazers have a chance for more. Danuel House Jr. . Drives and scores. Nurkic scores in the lane and leads with 10-6 Blazers. Now Nurkic falls in a turnaround layup and the Blazers rise to 12-6 at 7:33 to go in the first. Time out on the floor.
How to Watch Live Streams Online: You can watch this game live with your cable provider login or you can watch the game live for FREE with FuboTV (free trial). If you already have a cable package, you can watch the game live on NBC Sports NW using your cable provider credentials. There are a variety of other streaming options that you can try: www. nba. com / blazer / watch.
The Blazers host the Houston Rockets at 7 p.m.. m. Saturday at the Moda Center. That means James Harden is in town and expected to play after being quarantined for violating the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols.
The Athletic reported Friday that Harden had added the blazers to its short list of desired trading destinations. This list also includes Miami, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Boston.
After a deal, could Harden stay in Portland all weekend and take the Blazers to Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Monday? In theory, that could happen. Doesn’t seem likely, however.
What seems likely is a blazer win. Harden is out of shape and likely not motivated to do anything for a team he claims to be leaving. Houston will do without John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon.
Blazer: Forward Nassir Little (Health and Safety Protocols) is out. Forward Zach Collins (ankle) is out. He could return in late January.
Missiles: Chris Clemons (right Achilles; operation), DeMarcus Cousins (health and safety protocols), Eric Gordon (health and safety protocols), Mason Jones (health and safety protocols), Kenyon Martin Jr. . (Not with team self-isolating), Ben McLemore (not with team self-isolating), and John Wall (health and safety protocols) and out.
After the game on Saturday, the Blazers will start a road trip with four games on Monday at the Los Angeles Lakers (1-1). . The journey continues on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Clippers (2-0), followed by two games at the Golden State (0-2) on New Years Day and in January. 3.
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Houston Rockets, James Harden, Portland Trail Blazer, NBA, John Wall, Oklahoma City Thunder, DeMarcus Cousins
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