Rockets fend off Blazers, take 2-1 lead

BY foxsports • April 25, 2009

The Houston Rockets got away with another quiet night from Yao Ming because they forced Brandon Roy into one, too.

Luis Scola scored 19 points and the Rockets bottled up Roy in an 86-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night that gave Houston a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Yao scored only seven points on 2-for-7 shooting, but Shane Battier scored 16 points as Houston beat the Blazers for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings at the Toyota Center. Game 4 is Sunday in Houston.

Battier and Ron Artest blanketed Roy most of the night, bumping him every time he touched the ball. Artest only scored nine points and Houston still led most of the way.

"We play as a team," Scola said. "So because of that, we can afford for Ron and Yao to have a bad night and we still win. And that's a good thing to have."

Roy, who scored 42 points in Portland's 107-103 win in Game 2, had 19 points, but went 6-for-18 from the field. Even when he broke free from Battier or Artest, Houston's defense seemed to converge on him in the lane.

"They were collapsing everybody," said Roy, the NBA's No. 10 scorer. "They (Artest and Battier) did a good job of trying to stay with me. It didn't matter where the screens came from, they tried to stay with me. But the other guys did a good job of clogging the paint."

Steve Blake scored 16 and had 10 assists, and Rudy Fernandez sank five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points for the Blazers, who trailed by 17 in the second half before rallying in the final quarter.

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