HOUSTON, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Portland Trail Blazers edged past the Houston Rockets 122-120 in overtime Sunday night at Toyota Center, claiming their victory in the first round of the NBA postseason.
The host team started the contest slow as usual, being outscored by the Blazers 27-20 in the first quarter. The Rockets came alive in the second quarter, however. They had a couple of surges, cut the deficit and overtook the Blazers, once enjoying a double-digit lead. But Portland made a few runs at the end of that quarter and narrowed the gap to just one point entering halftime.
Both teams made several runs in the third quarter and the Rockets was able to maintain the lead. The Rockets appeared to get the upper hand in the fourth quarter and had double-digit leads. But the Blazers' last-minute effort tied the score at 106-106 and pushed the game into overtime.
The Rockets opened the overtime with strong offensive, only to be overtook by the Blazers soon. With 24.5 seconds remaining, Houston was one point ahead, when Damian Lillard shot two free throws and turned the table. James Harden missed a couple of shots in the last seconds and gave away the victory to the Blazers.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a franchise playoff-record 46 points and 18 rebounds for the Blazers while Lillard added 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Harden and Dwight Howard each scored 27 points for Houston, and Howard grabbed 15 rebounds. Chandler Parsons chipped in 24 points and Jeremy Lin had 14 points.
The Rockets will host game 2 against the Blazers on Wednesday night at Toyota Center.