The Rockets will struggle to score easy points, I told my friend Wastro three minutes into the Portland Trail Blazers’ home game against Houston Wednesday. I had seen enough of The Chandler Parsons Show to know it was headed for cancellation.
Two nights earlier, I watched Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden score at will in Oklahoma City’s overtime win over Portland. Yet, the Blazers matched the Thunder basket-for-basket, and should have won, save for a phantom goaltending call in the final 10 seconds.
Houston, by contrast, had no one in its starting lineup capable of striking fear in Blazers fans’ hearts. They started Parsons, a rookie drafted in the second round, for cripe’s sake.
In hindsight, I should have waited till the Houston’s subs entered the game before declaring their offense impotent. Or at least until the first timeout.
The Rockets bench scored 66 points and hit eight 3′s en route to a 103-96 road win over Portland. The Rockets led by as many as 19 in the third quarter, before the Trail Blazers rallied to seize a slim fourth quarter lead. Then, Houston coach Kevin McHale wisely put his bench back in. D’uh, coach!