TNT loves the Portland Trail Blazers. In Game 1 against the Houston Rockets, the Blazers battled back to force overtime and won in dramatic fashion, stealing homecourt advantage from the Rockets in their first-round playoff series. Tonight at 9:30 EST / 6:30 PST, the Blazers will try to stymie Dwight Howard, James Harden and the rest of the Rockets for the second straight game. And once again, it’ll be broadcast live on TNT. Yet recent history isn’t on the Blazers’ side, so it’ll be interesting to watch tonight’s Blazers Rockets game to see if the Rockets can regroup. If you’re not near your TV, you can watch Blazers vs Rockets Game 2 live streaming online using any number of services.
The Portland Trail Blazers are both encouraged and discouraged at their Game 1 win Sunday night. The victory was a statement for a team that lost the regular-season series 3 games to 1, particularly since the victory came on the Houston Rockets’ home court. It was also a coming-out party for Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard, whose playoff debut saw him tally 31 points, 5 assists and 9 rebounds. Lamarcus Aldridge got in on the action too, turning in the NBA’s best playoff performance so far with a monstrous 46-point, 18-rebound effort.
Yet that’s where the discouraging part comes into play. Aldridge and Lillard both had huge games, being the first teammates to score 45 and 30 in a playoff game since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did it with the Chicago Bulls back in 1992.
Yet in spite of their performance, the Blazers still had to scratch their way from a late-game deficit to force overtime. In OT, the Blazers then won by a slight 2-point margin. How often over the course of a series can the Blazers pull that rabbit out of their hat?
The Rockets, meanwhile, will look for a much bigger night from Dwight Howard. After losing on his home court in Game 1, the Rockets’ All-Star center said a bigger game for him is exactly what Houston will get. “We have to play inside out, play their bigs and make it a long night for those guys,” Howard told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. “I have to demand the ball, get it and go to work.”
Robin Lopez is a big piece of the Blazers’ success this year, but he isn’t exactly Kryptonite if Howard goes Superman in tonight’s Blazers game. Howard scored 27 points and had 15 rebounds in the Rockets’ Game 1 overtime loss on Sunday. To hear him say he needs to do even more is bad news for the Blazers’ bigs.
With that said, the Rockets’ offense this season has started and ended with James Harden. Harden scored 27 points on 8-of-28 shooting, including 3-of-14 from the outside, in Game 1. He’ll continue to balance facilitating and scoring as you watch tonight’s Rockets game, and his defensive performance on Lillard and Nicolas Batum could determine whether the Rockets go down 2-0 in the series.
So, too, will the presence of guard Patrick Beverley, who’s likely to play in tonight’s Game 2 after banging up his already-injured knee in Game 1. An MRI showed no new damage, but Beverly was clearly hobbled. He was key to shutting down Lillard in the Rockets’ three previous victories over the Blazers during the regular season, so the Rockets will need him as close to 100% as possible in tonight’s Blazers game.
Tonight’s Blazers Rockets game tips off at 9:30pm EST / 6:30pm PST live on TNT. If TNT is part of your satellite or cable package, check your local listings for the proper channel number and tune-in to see watch Heat vs Thunder in HD on your TV. If you’re not near the TV, TNT allows subscribers to stream games through their TNT Overtime service, which should allow you to watch Blazers vs Rockets Game 2 live streaming online. You can also download the TNT Watch Live app to catch the game on a tablet or mobile device, or just head to the TNT website to watch the game via a normal web browser.