KENYON MARTIN JR.
McCollum scores 44 to lift Trail Blazers past Rockets in OT
(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)PORTLAND, Ore. – CJ McCollum scored 44 points, including a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left that gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 128-126 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Lillard's layup pushed the Blazers ahead 125-123 with 30 seconds left in overtime, but Harden made a 3 to push the Rockets ahead with 15.3 seconds left. Then with 6.3 seconds left, the ball found McCollum again and the Blazers' guard hit another long range shot putting Portland ahead 128-126. After Wood cut the Blazers lead to 123-120 with a layup, Harden tied the game again at 123 with 38.6 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer by Lillard, Houston’s PJ Tucker was called for a loose ball foul on the rebound with 32 seconds left.
Rockets set to go into opener with 9 available players
Houston Rockets' James Harden looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against tha San Antonio Spurs in Houston, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)The Houston Rockets are preparing to have only nine available players, James Harden among them, for their first two games of the season because of ongoing quarantine issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Rockets play their opener in Portland on Saturday and visit Denver on Monday. Harden being ineligible to play meant the Rockets did not have the eight available players needed to start a game, so what was to have been their opener on Wednesday against Oklahoma City was postponed. Ben McLemore and Kenyon Martin Jr. are not with the Rockets on the trip and are self-isolating, the team said.