The Trail Blazers starters combined for 97 of the team's 117 points against the Rockets as they ensured a win in Carmelo Anthony's return to Houston.
Damian Lillard, on a rough shooting night, put up solid numbers of 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. CJ McCollum put up 24 points and six assists, while Hassan Whiteside recorded a double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds.
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Lillard credited the win to the team's coaching staff:
"Our coaches did a great job putting in a game plan, we executed the scouting report on the defensive end, and we pulled out a tough win."@Dame_Lillard recaps the win in Houston with @brookeolzendam in tonight's @Biofreeze Top Performance Review. pic.twitter.com/Yb49Sx5oah- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 16, 2020
Here are the biggest takeaways from a game that the Trail Blazers led by maximum of 17:
Melo's return to Houston
This was Carmelo Anthony's first game back in Houston since being signed by the Blazers in mid-November and he didn't disappoint.
Have a night, 0️⃣0️⃣ pic.twitter.com/0Z7planHg5- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 16, 2020
He finished with a double-double of 18 points (7-10 FG's) and 12 rebounds and was a +4 in his 33 minutes on the floor.
He started the game by making his first four shots and then made a late three (only his second long-range attempt of the game) from the corner as the Rockets attempted to come back into the game.
STAY MEL00 pic.twitter.com/p5VhtKLTMH- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 16, 2020
Westbrook's efficient triple-double
It came in a loss, but Russell Westbrook delivered one of his best performances of the season.
He finished with 31 points (11-22 FG's), 12 assists, and 11 rebounds for his seventh triple-double of the season. In his 42 minutes of action, he was a +1 - the only Rockets player with a positive +/- in this game.
Not to mention the fact that he recorded a season-low one turnover.
Rough game for Harden
While Westbrook showed up, James Harden had the lowest-scoring games of his season - 13 points.
In his 36 minutes, he shot 3-of-12 from the field and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. He did contribute with eight rebounds and seven assists but was a team-low -11 in his time on the floor.
It's the third game in the last five that Harden has shot 30.0% or lesser from the field.
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