Houston beats Portland 116-107 with 26 points from Jalen Green.

Portland, Oregon — Jalen Green scored 26 points and the Houston Rockets beat Portland 116-107 on Friday to ruin their season finale at home. Houston had already been eliminated from postseason contention, but Jock Landale scored 20 and Aaron Holiday scored 18 off the bench. Rockets rookie Amen Thompson scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the second of a back-to-back.  

“I was trying to go hard and recover from last night. I feel the team, we brought the energy today, so it was good,” Thompson said after a lackluster loss to the Jazz the night before. Scoot Henderson scored 30 points for the Trail Blazers, who have lost four straight and 14 of 16 with one game left. Portland finished second-to-last Western Conference.  

Houston (40-41) led by 20 points in the third quarter, but Henderson's dunk and free throw cut it to 82-73. Portland got closer on Henderson's step-back jumper.  

Cam Whitmore's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter gave Houston a double-digit advantage again, and the Rockets cruised. “It was a little slow to start, but we had a good second quarter,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “Many guys step up and do good things.”  

The Rockets were without Fred VanVleet due to a right hip injury. VanVleet averages 17.4 points and 8.1 assists, a career high. His season-high 42 points came Thursday in a 124-121 loss to the Utah Jazz. Thompson's six assists helped compensate.  

“I love experiences like that, getting to develop in different positions, point guard, everything,” he said. Anfernee Simons (left knee tendinitis), Jerami Grant (right hamstring), and Matisse Thybulle (right ankle) were among Portland's starters out earlier this month. The Blazers lost 100-92 against the Warriors the night before.  

Henderson of Portland, Thompson of Houston, and Whitmore of Houston, all rookies, scored 11 points. I was glad to see him dominate the game and handle the ball today. One turnover. It was my biggest takeaway for Henderson, especially against a team that pressures, turns you over, and plays physical, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said.

After Henderson's bank shot gave the Blazers a 16-9 lead in the first quarter, the Rockets cut it to 24-23 in the second. Thompson's basket capped a 16-5 Rockets surge that put Houston up 41-29. The Rockets led 54-50 at halftime as Henderson's midcourt 3-pointer slowed the pace.

Dillon Brooks' third-quarter 3-pointer gave the Rockets a 62-42 edge. Moses Brown seemed to step on Green's foot late in the quarter. Green exited and returned midway through the fourth quarter.  

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