LaMarcus Aldridge: B Scoring 27 and grabbing 11 boards and six assists, Aldridge produced. He did, however, take a lot of shots to get there (making 13-29). Also, Aldridge had a number of chances in the fourth quarter rattle out that would’ve save the Blazers overtime.
Nicolas Batum: A- It took Batum until the second half to get going, but with a few blocks and some timely shooting, the small forward re-energized the Blazers and erased a ten point deficit. In all facets, scoring, defense, steals, rebounds, and the like, Batum influenced this game.
J.J. Hickson: B While Hickson missed his third double-double by a single point, the non-traditional center keeps doing what he’s asked: rebounding, scrapping, and playing defense, while letting the points come where they may.
Damian Lillard: B It took overtime for the rookie to get his 20 points, but he got them. Indeed, after a regulation campaign that had him looking at least a little more like a rookie than his previous two, Lillard shook off whatever ailed him and drilled two overtime threes that put the game out of reach for Houston.
Wesley Matthews: A- Matthews had the plays of the game—a three-pointer towards the end of regulation that gave the Blazers the tie, and a strip of James Harden on the final possession that forced overtime.
Will Barton: B- With five, Barton had five times as many points as any other Blazer off the bench. (Meyers Leonard had one.) Though the shooting numbers weren’t great, Barton, who got his first real stretches of NBA minutes Saturday, looked to have some handle on the NBA game. More time seems warranted.
The Rest of the Blazers’ Bench: F As a whole, Portland’s reserves scored six total points. This sort of thing can’t continue, as it forced four of the Blazers’ five starters to play 40+ minutes. That’s on the second night of a back-to-back. And clearly, the Blazers were gassed. Luckily, the Rockets were too. Maybe even moreso. James Harden, in particular, as do the stretch he became less and less effective.
Nonetheless, a gutsy, hard-nosed and well-earned Trail Blazer win.