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Dragic pushes Rockets over Trail Blazers

Apr 10, 2012 - 6:34 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Goran Dragic scored 22 points and dished out seven assists, and the Houston Rockets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 94-89, on Monday.

Chase Budinger netted 15 points off the bench while Kyle Lowry added 13 points for the Rockets, who just completed a 4-0 road trip.

"We've been an awful road team," Budinger said. "Up to this point we haven't won very many road games and it shows where we've gone from the beginning (of the season) until now."

Marcus Camby, playing his first game in Portland since being traded to Houston at the trade deadline, grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Rockets are one game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for sixth place in the Western Conference.

LaMarcus Aldridge netted 20 points to go with six rebounds for Portland, which shot just 39.8 percent from the floor and 6-of-21 from beyond the arc.

The Blazers are currently 4 1/2 games behind the Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the west.

"We have eight or nine games left, every game is important," Portland forward J.J. Hickson said of his team's dwindling playoff hopes.

The Blazers attempted to rally from a 13-point deficit midway through the fourth, but two critical miscues down the stretch led to their ultimate downfall.

After Aldridge split a pair from the line to pull Portland within 88-81, the Blazers were unable to convert on a 3-on-2 break on their ensuing possession following a Dragic turnover.

On the play, Raymond Felton dribbled the ball up the floor before dishing to Jamal Crawford, but he came up short on his layup attempt. J.J. Hickson missed the tip-in and Luis Scola made a layup at the other end to make it 90-81 with 1:08 remaining.

Crawford's three-point play pulled Portland within six with 41.1 seconds to play, but Scola sealed the win with a layup at the other end.

Dragic let the shot clock whittle down to one before missing his triple from the right wing, but Portland didn't box out underneath, and Scola got the easy offensive rebound and putback with 16.1 seconds to play, making it 92-84.

Dragic netted eight first-quarter points as the Rockets took a 24-17 lead into the second.

The Blazers shot just 31.8 percent from the field in the opening half and trailed, 49-40, heading into the break.

Portland outscored Houston 25-22 in the third, but still trailed, 71-65, heading into the final frame.

Game Notes

Houston registered 19 fastbreak points...Portland was 17-of-19 from the foul line...Felton had 14 points and eight assists...Scola finished with 12 points and seven boards.