Apr 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots as Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) defends during the second quarter in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

LaMarcus Aldridge Destroys Rockets In Game Two

LaMarcus ” I can hit 18-foot fadeaways with a hand in my face, all day, every day” Aldridge showed up big time for his second consecutive game and dropped 43 points en-route to a 112-105 win for the Blazers over the Houston Rockets.

Every knows how the game went. In the first quarter, Dwight Howard absolutely dominated the Blazers and Robin Lopez. Spin move, jam. Drive right, reverse jam. Drive to the lane, hook off the glass. All night. He finished with 19 points in the first quarter, and 25 in the half, giving the Rockets their only offense.

Unfortunately for Howard and the Rockets, LaMarcus Aldridge showed up to play. Fadeaway, open jumper, fadeaway, it seemed to be a cycle and Aldridge wouldn’t miss any of them. Granted, he got away with a few pushoffs, Aldridge absolutely owned the Rockets. He finished with 43 points on 18/28 shooting, but did most of his damage the first three quarters.

James Harden and Chandler Parsons were mostly no-shows for the entire night. Harden finished with his second consecutive terrible game, shooting just 6-19 for 18 points. Parsons finished with 15 points on 15 shots. Off the bench, Jeremy Lin struggled with his shot as well, and Francisco Garcia played four head-scratchingly (I think I made that word up) useless minutes.

Many were quick to blame Kevin McHale who seemed to have no answer for anything all game. He never sent a double-team to Aldridge, his substitutions were questionable, and his handling of the game was horrendous. He was out-coached tonight and could be on the chopping block if the Rockets drop this series.

Ultimately, it will come down to James Harden. Harden is a putrid 14/47 in the series. If he can’t drive to the hole and make his shots, the Rockets won’t win.

The good news is Aldridge won’t continue to shoot jumpers as if they’re layups, and the Rockets can’t look much worse than they have. They’ve played two competitive games and lost, and that was largely without James Harden. Oh, and 3-16 won’t happen again this series.

And I haven’t even mentioned the officials…I’m done here.

I’d be shocked if Harden doesn’t drop 30 on Friday night and the Rockets don’t win.

Rockets/Blazers Box Score and Highlights

Game three will be Friday night at 9:30 PM on ESPN.

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