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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets preview

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The Portland Trail Blazers are one win away from a semi-final play-off place in the Western Conference if they can collect a win against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Centre tonight.

Terry Stotts' men currently have a 3-1 lead over the Rockets heading into game five, as the Trail Blazers were forced to overtime on Sunday night against Kevin McHale's side but saw enough quality in their team to win in overtime 17-14, and collect a 123-120 victory at the Moda Centre.

In the previous fixture, four Portland players scored over 20 points in the match; Nicolas Batum hit 25 in 45 minutes of play, while LaMarcus Aldridge scored a hefty 29 points to win game 4 in style.

Houston on the other hand have failed so far to really secure a victory, as in the last game James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons all managed over 25 points for the Rockets; but considering McHale's men won game three 121-116, with Harden scoring 37 points, they haven't carried on the momentum.

The Rockets lost the first two games of series both at home as the Houston fans weren't pleased with the displays that they were witnessing, as McHale's men were heading to Portland 2-0 down with the next two games based at the Moda Centre.

But heading into game five, both teams will be looking towards their point scorers in this encounter; LaMarcus Aldridge for the Trail Blazers has averaged 23.2 points per game, and against Houston the 28-year-old has averaged 35.5 in this series.

For Houston though, their highest paid player in Dwight Howard has averaged 18.3 points per game, and against Terry Stotts' men the 28-year-old has averaged 27 points and 14 rebounds.

Previous to the play-offs, Portland took on Houston at the Toyota Centre twice, losing both games 126-113 and 118-113 and during the campaign The Rockets had only lost one of their four encounters.

But fans may be prepared for a longer than expected encounter, as three of the last four games in this series have been settled by overtime, with two of the last four games only being settled by a three point margin.

However compared to last season, The Trail Blazers and the Rockets will feel it has been an improved campaign.

In the 2012 season, Portland finished fourth in the Northwest Division and 11th in the Western Conference missing out on the play-offs.

The Houston Rockets finished third in the Southwest Division and eighth in the Western Conference, only to face defeat to Oklahoma City in the first round, as McHale will not want a repeat of last season.

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DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Portland Trail Blazers
Dwight Howard
NBA Playoffs
NBA
Houston Rockets

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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