Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets - 4/25/14
Houston Rockets (54-28) at Portland Trail Blazers (54-28)
NBA Basketball: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10:30 pm (Moda Center)
The Line: Portland Trail Blazers -2.5 -- Over/Under: 216 See the Latest Odds
The series shifts to the Moda Center as the Portland Trailblazers play the Houston Rockets in Game Three.
Another game, another dominant performance from LaMarcus Aldridge who led the Trailblazers to a 2-0 series lead with a monster night of 43 points. Damian Lillard nearly triple-doubled with 18 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists while Dorrell Wright added a quick-fire 15 points off the bench, but this game was all about Aldridge who feasted on a Houston defense that refused to change defensive schemes which led to him sinking 18 of 28 from the field. The great news was that the Blazers were able to pour on 112 points, even with Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews combining for just 10 on 36 shooting.
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Meanwhile, the Rockets have plenty of work to do if they want to get a foothold in this series and it starts with defense. I know they're only average in the league (on a good night), but it's just inexcusable that you can allow Aldridge, or any player to burn you with 40+ points in consecutive home games of a playoff series. Dwight Howard made eight of his first nine shots and finished the game with 32 points while the rest of the starters finished in double figures, but when the team is shooting just three of 16 from the three-point line, the defense needs to tighten up.
In ATS trends, the Rockets are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall, while the Blazers are 4-1 ATS in hteir last five games overall and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a winning record.
Head to head, the Rockets are just 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings overall but a healthy 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Portland.
From what we've seen in the first two games of the series, you would think that the Blazers should be able to make it 3-0 tonight, but I just get the feeling that the Rockets will play with desperation and snatch a narrow win on the road.