Wesley Matthews hit a game-tying three late in the fourth quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers used a strong second half to knock off the Houston Rockets 95-85 in overtime. The win takes Portland to 2-1, while handing Houston (2-1) its first loss of the season.
Houston took an eight point lead into the half, and looked poised to win its third straight game for most of the second half. But Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge and rookie sensation Damian Lillard felt otherwise, as the big three outplayed Houston's trio of James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik.
James Harden finally fell back to earth after his first two sensational games in a Rocket uniform, shooting just 8-of-24 from the field and finishing with 24 points. He also had five turnovers.
Although a minor setback to Houston's hot start, Portland now has quality wins Saturday night and against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was thought to be a rebuilding year in both of these cities, but fast starts have given fans reason to think otherwise.
Player of the Game: PG Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard has looked good in summer league, preseason and now the first three regular season games for the Trail Blazers. He finished with 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds, all more than his counterpart Lin.
Lillard is easily in the Rookie of the Year conversation right now, and if he continues to run this Portland offense to success against quality opponents, his team will be a dark horse candidate to make the postseason later on.
He had eight of his team's 14 points in the overtime, including two big three-pointers that helped keep Houston at bay in the final frame.
Next Up for the Blazers
Portland will end its two-game Texas tour on Monday by traveling to Dallas to take on the Mavericks. Dallas native and former Texas Longhorn Aldridge enjoys taking on his hometown team; he averaged 29 points and 12.5 rebounds in two games last season against the Mavs.
Next Up for the Rockets
The Rockets will continue their push towards being a legitimate contender on Wednesday, when the Denver Nuggets come to town. Harden will get a look at Team USA buddy Andre Iguodala, who will likely draw the first crack towards keeping Houston's new star in check.