NBA Wrap January 29th
IMAGE: Yahoo! Movies
OLADIPO AND ROCKETS EXTEND WIN STREAK TO FOUR
It has taken a good season and a half for Victor Oladipo to find his footing after that nasty quad tendon injury against Toronto in January 2019.
Now, he is acclimatising near the form which saw him make consecutive All-Star appearances in 2018 and 2019.
Oladipo scored 25 points along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists as the Houston Rockets won its fourth consecutive game defeating the Portland Trailblazers 104-101.
John Wall still on minutes restriction from a sore knee had 20 points and 6 assists, while leading candidate for Most Improved Player Christian Wood posted 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Superstar Damian Lillard led Portland with 30 points and 9 assists and Gary Trent with 23 points catching fire form the arc nailing seven threes for the Blazers who continue to play without starters C.J McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic due to injuries.
Portland whose defence for the majority of the season has been substandard leapt out of the blocks building a 32-17 lead at the end of one, with Lillard scoring 13 points in the first 12 minutes.
When Anfrenee Simons made a triple, Portland were up 39-25 with 7:59 left in the first half, then Houston fuelled by Wall, Oladipo and Wood shaved off the deficit going on a 28-11 run to lead 53-50 at intermission.
The final stanza was tense as buckets became harder to come by with multiple empty trips as little separated the Rockets and Blazers in the final two minutes.
Houston would go up three when Oladipo drove hard to the tin of glass with 26.2 seconds remaining, then the Rockets got a stop when Trent Jr missed a driving layup.
Portland immediately fouled Wood, who had spilt a pair of free throws to allow the Blazers hope of a miracle. That challenge was responded to when Lillard drove in the paint kicking the ball out to Simons who swished through a triple to slice the Houston lead to one with 3.1 seconds left.
Simons on the Blazers next possession, had the chance to put the game into Overtime but he was well guarded by Wall forcing him to heave a long 31 footer which sailed out of bounds.
In other results around the Association:
Blake Griffin scored 23 points, his second 20 point outing this season and the Detroit Pistons finished on a 19-5 tear to finish the contest defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 107-92.
Superstar LeBron James led the purple and gold with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists, while Kyle Kuzuma also scored 22 filling in for Anthony Davis who was out with a bruised right quad for the Lakers who lost its second successive road game.
Veteran Nic Batum scored 18 points in an even team scoring performance and the Los Angeles Clippers held of a Miami Heat fourth quarter comeback to prevail 109-105.
Tyler Herro returning after missing seven games with neck spasms led the Heat with 19 points, who have lost five straight and eight of ten.
Emerging talent Mikal Bridges posted 20 points and the Phoenix Suns despite missing star guard Devin Booker stopped a three-game losing streak defeating the Golden State Warriors 114-93.
By Juri Bilcich