);
Portland Trail Blazers

Balanced effort gives the Trail Blazers the victory over the Rockets in Carmelo Anthony's return to Houston

Carmelo Anthony vs. the Houston Rockets
(NBA Getty Images)

The Trail Blazers starters combined for 97 of the team's 117 points against the Rockets as they ensured a win in Carmelo Anthony's return to Houston.

Damian Lillard, on a rough shooting night, put up solid numbers of 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. CJ McCollum put up 24 points and six assists, while Hassan Whiteside recorded a double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds.

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Lillard credited the win to the team's coaching staff:

Here are the biggest takeaways from a game that the Trail Blazers led by maximum of 17:

Melo's return to Houston

This was Carmelo Anthony's first game back in Houston since being signed by the Blazers in mid-November and he didn't disappoint.

He finished with a double-double of 18 points (7-10 FG's) and 12 rebounds and was a +4 in his 33 minutes on the floor.

He started the game by making his first four shots and then made a late three (only his second long-range attempt of the game) from the corner as the Rockets attempted to come back into the game.

Westbrook's efficient triple-double

It came in a loss, but Russell Westbrook delivered one of his best performances of the season.

He finished with 31 points (11-22 FG's), 12 assists, and 11 rebounds for his seventh triple-double of the season. In his 42 minutes of action, he was a +1 - the only Rockets player with a positive +/- in this game.

Not to mention the fact that he recorded a season-low one turnover.

Rough game for Harden

While Westbrook showed up, James Harden had the lowest-scoring games of his season - 13 points.

In his 36 minutes, he shot 3-of-12 from the field and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. He did contribute with eight rebounds and seven assists but was a team-low -11 in his time on the floor.

It's the third game in the last five that Harden has shot 30.0% or lesser from the field.

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