It gave him about two.
Looking slowed and in pain, Beverley saw just a couple minutes in the second half. He was said to have been battling a very high fever and it still hadn’t broke.
Fortunately for Kevin McHale and the Rockets, Jeremy Lin was ready to step back into the spotlight.
Lin’s 21 points off the Rockets bench helped the Rockets outscore the Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter for the first time in this series, going on to win 108-98 in game 5 from the Toyota Center.
The Rockets finally found answers for the dominance of LaMarcus Aldridge. Houston attacked him offensively early and Portland’s star forward in foul trouble. Aldridge picked up his second foul at the 6 minute mark of the first quarter, and as soon as Aldridge hit the pine, the Rockets reeled off a 7-0 run. The Rockets finished the first quarter up by three, and all eight Rockets who saw court time in the period scored except Troy Daniels.
The Rockets put the clamps on to start the second quarter and forced Portland to turn it over on four of its first five possessions. The Rockets took a 41-27 lead before a timeout by the Blazers. Dwight Howard then picked up his third foul, but the Rockets would continue to roll with Dwight on the bench, outscoring Portland 7-0 courtesy of more hot shooting from Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin.
Lin had unarguably his best playoff performance so far, connecting on 9-of-15 from the floor and dishing out four assists, while also tallying three rebounds and two steals. Lin had eight points during the Rockets runs in the third quarter, and he played good defense on Lillard, too.
But the Blazers backcourt was having a hot night shooting the ball. Wes Matthews and Damian Lillard combined to hit eight threes and score 53 points. It was necessary from Portland’s standpoint with Aldridge unable to get anything going.
Credit excellent tandem defense from Howard and Omer Asik for controlling Aldridge. Aldridge had trouble getting the ball in his comfort zone, and the confidence Asik has in contesting his shot is what makes it work.
Asik knows that he has six fouls to give every night, and that if he’s beat off the dribble Howard will be there. Aldridge finished just 3-of-12 from the floor for eight points and eight boards. That’s a pretty humble line from a guy who dropped 44.5 points per game over the first two games of the series.
The Portland Trail Blazers had outscored the Rockets plus-15 in the fourth quarter over the first four games of the series, but James Harden got cooking late in the game to give the Rockets a plus-5 edge tonight.
Asik fouled out at the 5:18 mark with the Rockets ahead by four, but Aldridge had all but checked out of the game by that point, mentally.
Harden didn’t score the entire third quarter, and not until the 4:00 mark of the fourth quarter did he break that spell on a nifty up-and-under reverse layup. He followed it up with a trifecta. He would score eight points in the final four minutes of the game to put it out of reach for Terry Stotts‘ Blazers.
Overall, Beard was just 5-of-15 from the field and 1-of-7 from three-point range, but he did a good job of creating for his teammates, finishing with seven assists.
Asik and Howard’s defense on Aldridge and Lin stepping in for Beverley is the storyline of the game, though. Harden has had a rough series, but it has to be consoling for Kevin McHale’s crew that even with Harden shooting with Chris Duhon-like precision, the series is still alive.
Game six will be Friday (May 2) at 10:30 PM EDT.
|LaMarcus Aldridge, PF||39||3-12||0-0||2-4||2||6||8||2||2||4||1||3||+1||8|
|Nicolas Batum, SF||39||6-10||1-4||2-2||0||5||5||4||0||2||0||2||+1||15|
|Robin Lopez, C||38||7-14||0-0||3-6||4||4||8||0||0||4||1||3||+1||17|
|Damian Lillard, PG||43||9-18||3-8||5-5||2||6||8||7||4||0||2||2||0||26|
|Wesley Matthews, SG||39||9-18||5-9||4-4||0||2||2||0||1||3||1||4||-5||27|
|Thomas Robinson, PF||9||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||1||-10||0|
|Dorell Wright, SF||11||0-2||0-2||1-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||-19||1|
|Joel Freeland, C||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mo Williams, PG||20||2-7||0-2||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||3||3||-17||4|
|C.J. McCollum, SG||0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Will Barton, SG||1||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Meyers Leonard, C||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Earl Watson, PG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 11
Points in the paint: 40
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 11 (18)
|Chandler Parsons, SF||41||8-22||3-8||1-2||1||3||4||4||1||0||1||2||+7||20|
|Dwight Howard, C||33||9-15||0-0||4-6||1||13||14||2||0||3||1||4||+9||22|
|Omer Asik, C||33||5-12||0-0||0-0||6||9||15||0||0||1||3||6||-6||10|
|Patrick Beverley, PG||21||2-5||1-3||0-0||2||1||3||2||0||1||0||1||-3||5|
|James Harden, SG||41||5-15||1-7||6-7||1||2||3||7||3||1||2||2||+10||17|
|Terrence Jones, PF||22||4-5||0-0||0-0||2||1||3||3||0||1||1||2||+12||8|
|Jeremy Lin, PG||31||9-15||2-5||1-1||1||2||3||4||2||1||2||1||+10||21|
|Troy Daniels, SG||17||1-2||1-2||2-2||0||3||3||1||1||0||2||3||+11||5|
|Josh Powell, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Donatas Motiejunas, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Jordan Hamilton, SF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Omri Casspi, SF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Francisco Garcia, SG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 8
Points in the paint: 60
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 13 (18)