James Harden had 35 points and 11 assists, Chandler Parsons scored 20 and the Houston Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-103 on Friday night.
Harden went 13 for 16 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range, putting on an individual show in the last game at the Toyota Center before the NBA's All-Star weekend comes to town. Harden was chosen as a reserve for the West squad, making his first All-Star team.
LaMarcus Aldridge, another All-Star reserve for the West, scored 31 points for Portland. The Blazers had won the previous two meetings this season in overtime, rallying from double-digit deficits in both.
Not this time. Houston preserved a comfortable lead for most of the second half, and Harden finished off Portland with a fadeaway jumper from the wing.
Nicolas Batum scored 24 points and Damian Lillard had 18 for the Blazers.
Early on, Houston repeatedly found openings inside and hit 12 of its first 15 shots. When Portland crowded the lane, the Rockets passed outsid...