Friday , Nov , 21 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Yao and Rockets land in Portland

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets try for their third
straight win tonight, as they travel to Portland to face Rasheed Wallace and
the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.

The Rockets are fresh off a strong performance by Yao Ming on Wednesday
evening that helped them to an 85-83 victory at Golden State.

Yao had 23 points and 11 rebounds to help Houston win for the third time in
four games. He had 15 points in the fourth quarter, including 10 straight at
one point.

Steve Francis also scored 23 points for Houston, while Jim Jackson chipped in
11 points in the win.

The Trail Blazers have dropped two of their last three contests, but, in their
last game on Wednesday, they used a huge fourth-quarter rally to defeat the
Miami Heat, 94-93, at the Rose Garden.

Qyntel Woods hit two free throws with four-tenths of a second left to push
Portland to victory.

Woods, playing in place of Bonzi Wells, who was given a team suspension, was
fouled going to the rim by Miami’s Lamar Odom as time ticked down. Woods
scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds in only 18 minutes of play,
including the two late free throws. Wells is eligible to return for Sunday’s
game against Golden State.

Portland’s Rasheed Wallace had a huge night, scoring 21 points and hauling
down 11 rebounds. Zach Randolph, who came off the bench, contributed 17 points
and 10 rebounds for Portland.

The Heat led 75-61 after three quarters, but the Blazers outscored Miami 33-18
in the final 12 minutes to win the game.

Portland has dominated the series with Houston in recent memory, winning three
straight and six of the last seven contests. The Trail Blazers took three of
four games in the season series last year with the only loss coming in

The Rockets have only won eight times in the last 25 meetings with Portland
and have not fared well at the Rose Garden in the last few seasons. Houston
has dropped three straight and four of its last seven at the Blazers’ arena.

Houston is 3-2 on the road this season, but the Blazers have won six of their
seven games in Portland.