HOUSTON (AP) — Victor Oladipo scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets shook off a terrible first quarter and held on late to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-101 on Thursday night.
The Rockets were down by 20 points in the first quarter before using a big second to take the lead and hold on down the stretch for their fourth straight victory.
“The guys have grit and they’re determined,” coach Stephen Silas said. “The adversity part is something that we’ve been talking a lot about. I think earlier in the season adversity would hit and we would succumb to that adversity. But tonight… we put forth the right energy to overcome it.”
A driving layup by Oladipo extended the lead to 101-98 with 26.2 seconds to go and Gary Trent Jr. missed a layup on the other end. Christian Wood made one of two free throws about 10 seconds later, before Anfernee Simons cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining.
Eric Gordon made two free throws with 2.1 seconds to go and Simons missed a shot at the buzzer to give Houston the win.
Wood finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return after missing three games with a sprained right ankle. John Wall had 20.
Wall said things are much better in Houston now the drama surrounding James Harden’s desire to be traded is over. Harden was traded to Brooklyn on Jan. 13.
“It was kind of hard to play through that and find a chemistry,” Wall said. “And once we made the trades happen and we got the team that we wanted and the guys that wanted to be here and once we all committed to what we wanted to do, we were going to be a good team. Everybody has something to prove.”
Damian Lillard had 30 points and nine assists for Portland, and Trent added 23 points and tied a career high by making seven 3-pointers.
“We couldn’t close it out,” Trent said.
Portland stayed in it late thanks to Trent making four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
“I thought it was a good effort by everybody,” coach Terry Stotts said. “It was a great start. It was a great finish and we were right there, but we came up short.”
The Trail Blazers scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter, capped by three straight 3-pointers by Trent, to go on top 88-86 with 10 minutes remaining.
The Rockets got going after that, scoring the next six points, with a 3 from Oladipo, to make it 92-88.
A 3-pointer by Wall pushed Houston’s lead to four with about five minutes left. Trent made a 3-pointer to start a 5-0 run that gave Portland a 96-95 lead a minute later.
The Trail Blazers had a one-point lead before a 4-0 spurt by the Rockets gave Houston a 99-96 lead with less than two minutes to go. Lillard added a basket for Portland before missing a long 3-point attempt a few seconds later.
Trail Blazers: Carmelo Anthony had just six points after scoring a season-high 22 points in the last game. … Enes Kanter had 13 points and 13 rebounds. … Simons had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Rockets: Wood had one block to give him 99 in his career. … Danuel House had 11 points off the bench.
Trail Blazers: Continue a seven-game trip Saturday at Chicago.
Rockets: Begin a four-game trip Saturday night at New Orleans.