(HOUSTON, Texas) — For the second time is as many games, LaMarcus Aldridge set it off. The Portland power forward scored 43 points on Wednesday for the second straight game, leading the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 win over Houston a 2-0 series lead.
A native of Dallas, Aldridge has scored 89 points through the first two games of the series, including a franchise record 46 in Portland’s overtime win over the Rockets in Game 1. His back-to-back 40-plus scoring nights puts him on the same list as Michael Jordan and Tracy McGrady as the only players to score 40 or more points on the road in Games 1 and 2 of a playoff series.
“What can they do to stop him? He was great once again,” said teammate Damian Lillard who added 18 points in the win. “When a lot of guys couldn’t get going and couldn’t get shots, he carried us.”
The Trail Blazers now return home winning two games on the road to open a playoff series for the first time since the 1977 Western Conference Finals. Portland had a six point lead heading into the fourth quarter and was able to hold off a late rally by the Rockets to clinch the victory.
Dwight Howard led Houston with 32 points and 14 rebounds, connecting on his first six shots of the game. James Harden struggled, however, going just 6-of-19 from the floor. Game 3 is set for Friday night in Portland.
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Jill Martin, CNN