Blazers land 8th consecutive home win
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)
The Portland Trail Blazers haven't had much trouble winning at home this season. They'd like to carry that success away from the Rose Garden.
Patrick Mills had a career-high 14 points, five assists and five steals, Wesley Matthews added 14 points and Marcus Camby had 13 rebounds and season-high eight assists to help the Blazers improve to 12-3 at the Rose Garden.
''When we are here at the Rose Garden we are consistent,'' Camby said. ''We win a couple and get momentum from it. Then we go out on the road and lose a few. We have to change that.''
Portland, on its longest winning streak at home since a 12-game run from Jan. 24 to March 9, 2009, has struggled with injuries, most notably to All-Star Brandon Roy, and has lost 13 of 19 on the road. After a three-game road trip that begins Tuesday at Dallas, the Blazers will be back for nine of the next 11 at home.
Aldridge has continued his dominant play since Roy has been out with sore knees. He had his 14th double-double of the season and has scored at least 23 points in nine of the 11 games Roy has missed. Portland is 8-3 during that span.
''Our chemistry has gotten better,'' Aldridge said. ''I think guys are really figuring out their roles.''
Kevin Martin had 15 points to lead the Rockets, who were held well below their season average of 106 points per game. Courtney Lee added 12 points. Luis Scola, Aaron Brooks and Chase Budinger each had 10.
The Rockets, coming off a 114-105 win over Toronto Friday, play the second game of a back-to-back Monday at Denver. With center Yao Ming out with a stress fracture in his ankle and Chuck Hayes sitting with a sprained ankle, Houston had a weak defensive presence down low, giving away too many easy baskets to Aldridge and getting outscored 46-28 in the paint.
''They've got some trees down there,'' Martin said. ''But we couldn't get enough going inside or outside. It was a bad shooting night, which is a big reason why we lost.''
Houston trailed 54-48 at halftime, but Portland pulled away with a 12-0 run to extend to lead to 75-58 with 2:14 left in the third quarter. Portland went up 19 after back-to-back fastbreak dunks by Dante Cunningham and Batum, and eventually led by 23.
''Just a poor effort,'' Houston coach Rick Adelman said. ''That is as bad as we have played all year. We were a step behind all night.''
Backup point guard Mills gave the Trail Blazers a lift in the second quarter, containing Brooks on defense and scoring 12 before halftime. Portland went up by double digits after Batum converted a three-point play to make it 45-33.
Martin scored the Rockets' last seven points of the half to cut the deficit to six.
Notes: The Rockets' last win over a team with a winning record was Dec. 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers. ... Portland has beaten the Rockets four straight times at the Rose Garden. ... Matthews was just 3 of 12 from the field but made all seven of his free throw attempts.