Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Sunday, November 21st
Trail Blazers93
Game 2: Sunday, February 13th
Trail Blazers80Final
Game 3: Wednesday, March 16th
Trail Blazers77Final
Game 4: Wednesday, March 30th
Trail Blazers84

Rockets 97

(6-6, 4-3 away)

Trail Blazers 93

(4-5, 3-2 home)

    5:00 PM ET, November 21, 2004

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 27 26 24 2097
    POR 25 25 17 2693

    Top Performers

    Hou: T. McGrady 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 11 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Por: Z. Randolph 28 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast

    Blazers close in late but can't complete rally

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Tracy McGrady is finding plenty of ways to lead the Houston Rockets.

    A night after posting a season-high point total, McGrady delivered late, making a 22-foot jump shot with 13.2 seconds left and helping Houston to a 97-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

    McGrady scored 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting and had 11 assists after scoring 32 points in an overtime win against the Clippers.

    "I love being in that situation," McGrady said, who missed 10 of his 15 shots. "I was struggling throughout the game but I knew if I got that opportunity I was going to knock it down and I did."

    Yao Ming led Houston with 19 points, while Dikembe Mutombo had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

    "You can win games in several ways and tonight was one of those nights where I got my guys involved and they made big shots," McGrady said.

    Portland's Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season.

    Houston led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Portland slowly whittled away the lead and Randolph's layup with 35 seconds left pulled the Blazers within 93-91.

    After McGrady's pull-up jumper gave the Rockets a four-point lead, Derek Anderson came right back with a layup. The Blazers quickly fouled Jim Jackson, who made both his shots, and then called a timeout with 7.3 seconds left.

    When play resumed, Anderson shot an airball and time ran out on the Blazers, now 4-5.

    "We've been killing ourselves on mistakes, missed assignments. We know we can't let guys just catch the ball there in the middle," Portland center Theo Ratliff said. "They did that all the first half and just dominated the game with that alone."

    The Rockets have won two straight after dropping four of their previous five.

    "He's brought more of his personality to the team the last two games," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said of McGrady. "He's been much more driven. And I thought Yao was much more driven tonight also."

    The Blazers led by as many as eight points early but fell behind when McGrady's game picked up. The Rockets led 53-50 at the half.

    The Rockets went up 77-67 at the close of the third quarter on Tyronn Lue's 16-foot jumper.

    Yao scored 12 of his points in the second half after struggling with foul trouble early. He committed his third foul midway through the second quarter and sat until halftime. He played just 26 minutes in the game.

    The Blazers wrapped up their four-game homestand at 2-2.

    "We have to figure out something quick," said Anderson. "We have to take it out of their hands and make someone else beat us. It's very frustrating, disappointing. Especially when you're playing hard and not getting any results out of it."

    The Blazers celebrated former Portland great Clyde Drexler's recent induction into the Hall of Fame with a halftime ceremony. The fans at the Rose Garden gave "The Glide" a lengthy standing ovation.

    Game notes

    Drexler played for both the Blazers and the Rockets during his 15-year NBA career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 10. ... The Rockets won three of four games against the Blazers last season. ... A new banner was unfurled at the Rose Garden featuring the names of the six Hall of Famers with Trail Blazers ties -- Drexler, Lenny Wilkens, Neil Johnston, Dr. Jack Ramsay, Bill Walton and Drazen Petrovic.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 93
    FGM-FGA 36-78 (.462) 34-78 (.436)
    3PM-3PA 7-16 (.438) 3-14 (.214)
    FTM-FTA 18-20 (.900) 22-25 (.880)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-40 16-39
    Assists 25 15
    Turnovers 10 6
    Steals 2 2
    Blocks 6 2
    Fast Break Points 2 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 16
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 11
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Zach Randolph Randolph
    Points: 28
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0