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Jeremy Lin Helps Lead Houston Rockets to Win In Game 5

By Brett David Roberts
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Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard

Jeremy Lin

(7) reacts after making a basket during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the body just can’t go. With a potentially season ending game on the line, Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley just wanted four quarters of basketball from his body.

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.

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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.

Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) dunks the ball during the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Portland Trail Blazers

STARTERS

MIN

FG

3PFG

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

LaMarcus Aldridge

39

3-12

0-0

2-4

2

6

8

2

2

4

1

3

+1

8

Nicolas Batum

39

6-10

1-4

2-2

0

5

5

4

0

2

0

2

+1

15

Robin Lopez

38

7-14

0-0

3-6

4

4

8

0

0

4

1

3

+1

17

Damian Lillard

43

9-18

3-8

5-5

2

6

8

7

4

0

2

2

0

26

Wesley Matthews

39

9-18

5-9

4-4

0

2

2

0

1

3

1

4

-5

27

BENCH

MIN

FG

3PFG

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

Thomas Robinson

9

0-2

0-0

0-0

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

-10

0

Dorell Wright

11

0-2

0-2

1-2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

-19

1

Joel Freeland

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mo Williams

20

2-7

0-2

0-0

1

1

2

1

0

0

3

3

-17

4

C.J. McCollum

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Will Barton

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Meyers Leonard

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Earl Watson

DNP COACH’S DECISION

TOTALS

FG

3PFG

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Fast break points:   11
Points in the paint:   40
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   11 (18)

Houston Rockets

STARTERS

MIN

FG

3PFG

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

Chandler Parsons

41

8-22

3-8

1-2

1

3

4

4

1

0

1

2

+7

20

Dwight Howard

33

9-15

0-0

4-6

1

13

14

2

0

3

1

4

+9

22

Omer Asik

33

5-12

0-0

0-0

6

9

15

0

0

1

3

6

-6

10

Patrick Beverley

21

2-5

1-3

0-0

2

1

3

2

0

1

0

1

-3

5

James Harden

41

5-15

1-7

6-7

1

2

3

7

3

1

2

2

+10

17

BENCH

MIN

FG

3PFG

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

+/-

PTS

Terrence Jones

22

4-5

0-0

0-0

2

1

3

3

0

1

1

2

+12

8

Jeremy Lin

31

9-15

2-5

1-1

1

2

3

4

2

1

2

1

+10

21

Troy Daniels

17

1-2

1-2

2-2

0

3

3

1

1

0

2

3

+11

5

Josh Powell

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Donatas Motiejunas

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Jordan Hamilton

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Omri Casspi

DNP COACH’S DECISION

Francisco Garcia

DNP COACH’S DECISION

TOTALS

FG

3PFG

FT

OREB

DREB

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PTS

Fast break points:   8
Points in the paint:   60
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers):   13 (18)

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