NBA: Rockets, Trail Blazers earn overtime wins

Dallas, Aug 1 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/1/2020 12:29:55 PM IST

The Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers earned thrilling overtime wins in their respective restart openers on Friday night.

James Harden scored 49 points and Russell Westbrook added 31 points and 11 rebounds as the Rockets erased a 14-point deficit and rallied for a 153-149 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks. Trailing 139-137, Houston got a tip-in of a Harden missed free throw from Robert Covington with 3.3 seconds left to force overtime.
Covington, following an 0-for-8 start from behind the arc, added a three-pointer with 1:22 left in overtime to extend the Houston lead to 150-146.
By then, the Mavericks, who led 131-120 with 7:09 left in regulation, were out of gas, and when Luka Doncic fouled out via an offensive foul with 28.3 seconds left, the Rockets were headed for a win.
Doncic recorded his league-leading 15th triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists while Kristaps Porzingis paced the Mavericks with 39 points and 16 rebounds. Trey Burke added 31 points on 8-of-10 three-point shooting off the bench while Tim Hardaway Jr scored 24 points for Dallas.
Covington finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Danuel House Jr scored 20 for Houston, making 6-of-12 three-point attempts. Harden and Westbrook chipped in eight assists apiece.
Memphis Grizzlies 135-140 Portland Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum scored 33 points and Damian Lillard added 29 as the Portland Trail Blazers overwhelmed the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime to win 140-135 in the first seeding game for both teams.
Portland (30-37) built a first-half lead then surged ahead 75-62 in the third quarter before a 22-6 Memphis (32-34) run pushed the Grizzlies ahead. The Trail Blazers played from behind for much of the fourth quarter, but remained within striking distance. Two three-pointers from Carmelo Anthony in the final 1:23 gave Portland the lead, including a 124-122 advantage with 37.5 remaining. Brandon Clarke, who scored 21 points for Memphis off the bench, responded with a game-tying basket.
Ja Morant finished with 22 points. Morant scored seven consecutive points over one stretch, capped with a spectacular dunk off a lob from Clarke. Morant returned the favour to Clarke in the fourth quarter with one of his 11 assists, but Clarke was hit with a technical foul on the ensuing celebration.
The technical marked a critical turning point. Memphis went ahead by seven points, but Portland began a 12-4 run over the next 2:21. Neither team led by more than two points for the remainder of regulation.
That changed in overtime. McCollum knocked down a three-pointer, followed immediately by another from Gary Trent Jr for three of his 17 points off the bench.

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