Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Sunday, November 21st
Trail Blazers93
Game 2: Sunday, February 13th
Trail Blazers80Final
Game 3: Wednesday, March 16th
Trail Blazers77Final
Game 4: Wednesday, March 30th
Trail Blazers84

Rockets 100

(44-28, 22-15 away)

Trail Blazers 84

(24-46, 16-19 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 30, 2005

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 31 26 26 17100
    POR 26 21 17 2084

    Top Performers

    Hou: T. McGrady 26 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Por: S. Abdur-Rahim 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast

    Big man hits for 29 points to lead season sweep

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Ha Seung-Jin got a little rookie schooling from Yao Ming.

    Yao scored 29 points and led the Houston Rockets to a 100-84 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night, and in the process, showed Portland's 7-foot-3 rookie a thing or two about the game.

    Yao's hook shot with 7:54 left gave the Rockets a 94-69 lead, for their biggest margin of the rout. Tracy McGrady added 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won six of their last seven.

    With such a lopsided score, the focus was on the dual between the 7-footers.

    Yao, who is 7-6, simply overwhelmed the 19-year-old Korean rookie with physical play and a humbling blocked shot. Ha, who came in the game with 4:25 left in the first quarter, was appearing in just his 10th game for the Blazers.

    "He's only 19," Yao said. "When I was 19, I don't think I could play at this level. He's got potential."

    Ha was selected by Portland in the second round, 46th overall, of last year's draft. The first Korean to play in the NBA, Ha did not score, but had four rebounds in 15 minutes.

    "The thing I didn't want to have happen was him to be starry-eyed with Yao," Blazers coach Kevin Pritchard said. "I don't think he did. He was battling and he got a few fouls and I was happy about that because he didn't back down."

    Ha and Yao were able to chat briefly during the game. Yao asked Ha if his parents had come with him to the United States.

    "It was a good experience," Ha said through a translator. "I have no idea what I did. This is just the first step."

    Pritchard said the Blazers would go over film of the matchup with Ha. Earlier in the season, Ha missed a chance to play against another 7-footer, Shaquille O'Neal. Ha entered Portland's second of two games against Miami in the final minute, just as O'Neal left.

    Houston, in fifth place in the West, wrapped up its road trip 3-1 and will play six of its final 10 games at home.

    McGrady scored 44 points in the Rockets' 99-85 victory over Utah on Monday, showing no signs of a right hip strain that had been bothering him recently. It was his fifth game with 40 or more points this season.

    With Houston's sizable lead, McGrady did not play in the fourth quarter against the Blazers, who were led by Shareef Abdur-Rahim with 21 points.

    Portland finished the season winless against the Rockets, the first time Houston has swept the Blazers since 1993-94.

    The Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 103-96 win over New York on Saturday before a 114-106 loss to Washington on Monday night eliminated Portland from the playoffs for the second straight year after a string of 21 straight seasons in postseason play.

    The Blazers have lost 13 of 15 games under Pritchard, who took over on an interim basis after Portland fired coach Maurice Cheeks.

    Game notes

    While the Blazers focus on young players, their veterans are recovering from injuries. Center Theo Ratliff had a sore shoulder and guard Derek Anderson had a sore back, and did not dress. Darius Miles injured his hand against Washington on Monday, and did not play. Forward Zach Randolph (knee) and guard Nick Van Exel (arthritic left knee) are on the injured list. "With all their injuries, we just didn't want to take these guys lightly," McGrady said. "I told Yao before the game that we needed him to score early, and he did." ... The Rockets improved to 22-15 on the road. ... Pritchard said Ruben Patterson played despite a bout with stomach flu.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 84
    FGM-FGA 39-85 (.459) 32-67 (.478)
    3PM-3PA 6-24 (.250) 5-12 (.417)
    FTM-FTA 16-18 (.889) 15-21 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-42 3-34
    Assists 23 19
    Turnovers 12 18
    Steals 12 6
    Blocks 5 9
    Fast Break Points 15 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (1/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 25 3

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 26
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 21
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0