Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 10/27

Game 1: Tuesday, October 27th
Rockets87Final
Trail Blazers96
Game 2: Saturday, October 31st
Trail Blazers107Final
Rockets111
Game 3: Saturday, December 5th
Rockets89Final
Trail Blazers90
Game 4: Friday, January 29th
Trail Blazers100Final
Rockets104

Rockets 87

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Trail Blazers 96

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    Coverage: KGW

    10:00 PM ET, October 27, 2009

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 23 18 15 3187
    POR 23 31 21 2196

    Top Performers

    Hou: A. Brooks 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Por: T. Outlaw 23 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Oden shines on defense as Outlaw scores 23 in Blazers' win

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Greg Oden followed his orders, putting defense and rebounding first.

    Fast Fact

    • The Blazers won their seventh straight game dating back to last season; that is the longest active streak in the NBA.

    • The Rockets lost for just the second time in nine games vs. Portland.

    • Travis Outlaw led all scorers with 23 points off the bench. He is the first Blazer to score that many points off the bench in a season opener since 1986-87.

    • Portland outrebounded Houston 51-33.

    • The Rockets have now won 20 of their last 22 at home.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Oden scored just two points, a tip with 58 seconds left, but had 12 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Portland Trail Blazers in a 96-87 season-opening victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

    "You definitely want a lot more points," Oden said. "But I think I did a lot of good things that don't show up on the scoreboard or in the stats."

    Reserve Travis Outlaw scored 23 points and Brandon Roy added 20 points and five assists for the Blazers. Portland hit 20 of 22 free throws and outrebounded Houston 51-33.

    Aaron Brooks had 19 points for the Rockets, who defeated Portland in six games this past spring in the first round of the playoffs.

    That was a much different Houston team, though. Rockets center Yao Ming is out for the season after offseason foot surgery, and Ron Artest -- who pestered the Blazers -- left for the Lakers as a free agent.

    Houston also remains without former All-Star Tracy McGrady, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee and isn't expected to return until midseason.

    The absence of Yao presented matchup problems for the Rockets in trying to defend the 7-foot Oden. Houston started 6-foot-6 Chuck Hayes at center.

    Oden, who was the No. 1 draft pick in 2007 but missed his rookie season because of microfracture surgery on his knee, played off the bench for most of last season but wrested the starting job away from Joel Przybilla this fall.

    The emphasis for Oden -- and the rest of the Blazers -- was defense, according to the directive from coach Nate McMillan. Even though Oden had five fouls late in the game, he kept reaching for blocks.

    "That's the commitment, getting involved in the game on the defensive end of the floor, not the offensive end of the floor. Offensive players want to see that ball go in the basket before they get into the game," McMillan said. "We want to change that thought process this year and get into the game on the defensive end of the floor. I thought our guys did that."

    But there were problems. The Blazers had 26 turnovers and they let the Rockets pull within six points at the end.

    "We had a pretty good combination out there that attacked them a little bit," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "But they really helped us by turning it over like they did."

    The Blazers were without Nicolas Batum, who was set to be a starting forward until Monday, when it was announced that he would need shoulder surgery and would miss at least three months.

    In his place the Blazers started Martell Webster, who missed all but a few minutes of last season because of a foot injury. Webster finished with 14 points.

    The Blazers pulled ahead in the first quarter until Trevor Ariza's 3-pointer tied it at 20 for Houston. Ariza signed with the Rockets as a free agent in the offseason after spending last season in Los Angeles.

    But Outlaw hit on a dunk, a 3-pointer and another dunk to put Portland ahead 30-23 and kick off a 23-7 run that made it 46-30. The Blazers went on to lead 54-41 at the break. Outlaw had 14 points in the first half.

    Blazers swingman Rudy Fernandez, who missed much of the preseason because of back spasms, hit a 3-pointer to make it 67-48.

    The Rockets narrowed it to 89-83 late in the game after Chase Budinger's dunk and a pair of free throws from fellow rookie David Anderson, but couldn't pull any closer.

    "We built the lead, but the biggest thing is we didn't put them away when we had a chance to," Roy said. "Then again, it's the first game and we're just happy to have this win even though it was sloppy. It's one under our belts."

    The Rockets defeated the Blazers 4-2 in the playoffs, claiming their first postseason series victory since 1997. Houston lost in the conference semifinals to the eventual NBA champion Lakers.

    Portland had not been to the playoffs since 2003.

    Game notes


    Portland's 26 turnovers were more than they had in any game last season. "This will probably be the last game we win with 26 turnovers," McMillan said. ... Przybilla fouled out with 7:03 left. ... Houston's Brooks played at the University of Oregon. ... The Rockets have a rough start to the season. They play the second of a back-to-back at Golden State on Wednesday, then face the Blazers again for their home opener on Halloween before visiting Utah and finally hosting the defending champion Lakers on Nov. 4. "After five games we're going to figure out who we are," Adelman said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    HOU
    POR
    Points 87 96
    FGM-FGA 30-81 (.370) 33-77 (.429)
    3PM-3PA 5-18 (.278) 10-21 (.476)
    FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 20-22 (.909)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-33 12-51
    Assists 18 23
    Turnovers 16 26
    Steals 12 9
    Blocks 2 12
    Fast Break Points 16 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 27 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 3 20

    Top Performers

    Houston
    Portland
    Aaron Brooks Brooks
    Points: 19
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Travis Outlaw Outlaw
    Points: 23
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1