Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Friday, November 21st
Trail Blazers85
Game 2: Tuesday, December 9th
Trail Blazers91Final
Game 3: Friday, February 27th
Trail Blazers85Final
Game 4: Monday, March 22nd
Trail Blazers85

Rockets 78


Trail Blazers 85

(7-5, 7-1 home)

7:30 PM ET, November 21, 2003

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 27 12 18 2178
POR 16 26 22 2185

Top Performers

Hou: Y. Ming 21 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

Por: D. Stoudamire 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

Blazer Mobley shouts at Portland bench

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Even with a hard fought victory, the Portland Trail Blazers can't shake controversy.

Maurice Taylor

The Rockets took off in the first quarter but couldn't hang on.

In a game that ended in a scuffle with Portland forward Rasheed Wallace holding back Cuttino Mobley, the Trail Blazers rallied in the second half to beat the Rockets 85-78.

Zach Randolph had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Blazers, who upped their record to 7-1 at home. Damon Stoudamire had 23 points and seven assists.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Rockets, who were led by Yao Ming's 21 points and nine rebounds.

After the game Mobley was angrily shouting at Portland bench, but Wallace held him back at midcourt. Other players were also seen yelling at each other.

When asked what the disagreement was about, Houston guard Steve Francis said: "Ask the kid who plays over there for Portland."

Francis would not elaborate, but his comments appeared to be directed at second-year forward Qyntel Woods.

"There were some words at the free throw lines between Francis and Qyntel, but it was just trash-talking," Blazers guard Jeff McInnis said "That's basketball, you know?"

Said Mobley: "At the end of the game, I didn't see anything and I have nothing with Qyntel Woods." He wouldn't talk further.

The Blazers, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter.

The Rockets narrowed it to 73-72 on Maurice Taylor's jumper. Stoudamire responded with a 3-pointer. The Rockets kept it close until Stoudamire's jumper with 2:33 left made it 78-74, and McInnis added an unanswered 3-pointer to put it out of Houston's reach.

The Blazers shot just 34.1 percent from the floor.

"We played a great first quarter and a very poor last three. You held a team on the road to 34 percent, you should win the game," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "But we had eight or nine more turnovers, gave up 17 second shots, and fouled recklessly so they shoot 11 more free throws.

"You're going to lose. That is a recipe for a road loss."

Blazers guard Bonzi Wells was serving the second game of a two-game team suspension after he cursed at coach Maurice Cheeks during Portland's 105-98 loss to Dallas on Monday.

Wells was fined by the team earlier in the season for making an obscene gesture toward a fan.

The suspension forced Cheeks to be creative with his on-court matchups, especially with guard Derek Anderson -- who started last year -- still on the injured list with back spasms.

Portland didn't initially have an answer for Yao, who had 10 points in the first quarter alone. The Rockets used a 10-3 run to take a 27-16 lead, capped by Maurice Taylor's dunk.

Houston led by as many as 13 points, but the Blazers closed in midway through the second quarter on Stoudamire's personal 7-0 run. His 18-foot jumper made it 30-25, and a 3-pointer further narrowed the gap before a running jumper with 6:13 left in the half tied it at 30.

The Blazers outscored the Rockets 26-12 in the second quarter and went into the break with a 42-39 advantage.

The Blazers built their lead to 53-47 on McInnis' jumper midway through the third quarter.

Game Notes: The Trail Blazers waived forward Tracy Murray, who averaged 1.1 points per game ... Anna Kournikova, in town for a Superset Tennis exhibition Saturday, attended the game. Kournikova will play a set against Amanda Coetzer at the Rose Garden as an added attraction to the eight-man, one-set sudden-death exhibition event. ... Portland was 3-1 in the series against Houston last season. ... Yao has seven double-doubles this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 78 85
FGM-FGA 30-70 (.429) 28-82 (.341)
3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 6-16 (.375)
FTM-FTA 12-17 (.706) 23-28 (.821)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-44 17-44
Assists 18 20
Turnovers 17 9
Steals 4 9
Blocks 7 1
Fast Break Points 1 0
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 17 (1/0)

Top Performers

Yao Ming Ming
Points: 21
Reb: 9
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Damon Stoudamire Stoudamire
Points: 23
Reb: 5
Ast: 7
Stl: 2
Blk: 0