Housotn, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets in beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 108-98 on Wednesday at Toyota Center.
Jeremy Lin scored 21 and James Harden finished with 17 points and seven assists for the Rockets, who avoided elimination.
Omer Asik had back-to-back dunks to give the Rockets a 30-27 lead to end the tightly-contested first quarter.
The Rockets started the second with a 11-0 run to get a 41-27 lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge had four points and Wesley Matthews hit a 3-pointer in a 7-0 run to cut the Blazers’ deficit to 41-34 at 7:41 of the second.
But Lin scored five as the Rockets had 10 unanswered points to surge at 51-37.
Damian Lillard scored eight to lead a Blazers rally to close in at 56-48 at the half.
Matthews scored 18 in third, including four 3-pointers, but the Rockets got 10 points from Howard and eight from Lin to keep the lead at 82-77 by the end of the third.
With Robin Lopez scoring eight in the first four minutes of the last quarter to lead the Blazers, they closed in at 91-90 with 7:39 left.
Then the Rockets scored the last eight with Harden contributing six points to secure the win for the Rockets.
The Trail Blazers lead the first-round series 3-2 entering Game 6 on Friday in Portland.