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Roy, Jack lift Blazers over injured Rockets

Apr 7, 2007 - 8:06 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Brandon Roy and Jarrett Jack had no trouble in the absence of the Houston Rockets' big guns.

Roy and Jack combined for 47 points as the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of the absences of Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming to post an 85-78 victory over the Rockets.

Jamaal Magloire added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who snapped a four-game losing streak in the opener of a three-game road trip in Texas.

"This was a road win against a playoff team even though Yao and Tracy were not playing," Jack said. "It was good to get a win on the road. We've been playing well on the road and getting the first one on this trip is important."

With McGrady and Yao both inactive due to back pain, Portland jumped out to a 23-14 lead after the first quarter. It remained in control until Shane Battier's follow shot with 3:21 left gave Houston a 72-71 edge.

"Anytime Yao or T-Mac (McGrady) is out of the game, it presents some changes in our offense, obviously," said Battier, who scored 12 points. "We have to find different ways to score."

Both teams alternated leads on their next possession, until Jack had a layup and hit a 3-pointer for a 78-74 edge with 1:31 left.

Rafer Alston's two free throws cut the deficit to 78-76 with 1:28 to go until Roy found Travis Outlaw for a jumper 22 seconds later.

"The way we play concerns me every single game," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We don't play good enough to win. We give up layups down the stretch. We give up open threes in the corner, which is the three we absolutely don't want to give up. We don't play well enough to win games."

Roy finished with 24 points and Jack added 23 for Portland, which held on to win despite being outscored in the paint, 38-26, and losing the battle on the boards, 44-34.

"Defensively, we did a nice job, but we didn't control the boards or we could have done better," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "We wanted to play zone, and I thought we could take them out of their post-up game with Shane and Bonzi (Wells). It was a gut-check when they made that run in the fourth quarter and we pulled out a big win on the road."

Luther Head had 19 points and Juwan Howard 14 and 11 boards for the Rockets, who shot just 38 percent (29-of-76) in losing for the third straight time.

Head was coming off a career-high 30 points in a 110-99 setback to Golden State on Wednesday.

"It was a very difficult game without Yao and Tracy," Head said. "We were getting good shots, but we weren't making them. I got a couple of looks that looked good, but the shots just didn't fall. We weren't getting different shots."

Those looks really were not falling in the first half, as Houston managed just 14 points in the first quarter to fall behind by nine.

"We shot ourselves in the foot in the first quarter and we never really gained a good offensive flow," Battier said. "We made things interesting there in the fourth quarter, but they hit some big shots."

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