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Brooks leads Rockets to 104-100 win over Blazers

HOUSTON (AP) — Aaron Brooks scored 33 points, Carl Landry added 21 and the Houston Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak at home with a 104-100 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Brooks reached 30 points for the fifth time this season, and Luis Scola and Trevor Ariza added 12 points apiece for the Rockets, who've won 12 of the last 13 regular-season meetings with the Blazers in Houston.

Rudy Fernandez sank five 3-pointers and scored 25 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 for the Blazers, who played without injured leading scorer Brandon Roy for the fifth straight game. Portland has dropped five of its last seven, and four of the five games Roy has missed with a right hamstring injury.

The Rockets opened a 13-point lead in the third quarter, repeatedly driving into the lane for easy baskets. Portland missed six of its first eight shots out of the break, and struggled to contain the speedy Brooks, who had nine points and three assists in the quarter.

Fernandez and Steve Blake sank 3-pointers late in the third quarter to start a 14-5 spurt that cut the deficit to 79-75 early in the fourth.

Aldridge hit two free throws and a long jumper to tie it at 84 just before the 6-minute mark. Scola sank two free throws and Landry broke free for a dunk to put the Rockets back in front by four.

Landry dunked again with 2:22 left to put Houston up 96-92. Aldridge missed, and Brooks threaded a pass to Landry for a layup with 1:49 remaining.

The Rockets still had to sweat out the closing seconds, after Fernandez sank two 3-pointers to cut Houston's lead to two. Landry hit a free throw with 7.7 seconds left for a 103-100 lead. He missed the second shot, but Arriza rebounded and hit a free throw with 6.3 seconds left to put it away.

The Rockets shot 31.6 percent in the first quarter and trailed 28-18. Aldridge scored 12 points in the quarter, 10 in the last four minutes.

Houston backup point guard Kyle Lowry scored 11 points early in the second quarter, most of them on driving layups, to close the Rockets' gap. But Lowry came up limping after colliding with Aldridge on a drive with 8:24 left in the half. He stayed in the game for four more minutes, then went to the locker room with what the team said was a sprained left knee.

Houston's defense shut down the Blazers in the second quarter, holding Portland to 26 percent shooting (6 for 23). Aldridge scored only two points in the second quarter, as the Rockets double-teamed him every time he touched the ball.

Brooks flipped an alley-oop pass to Ariza for a dunk, then hit a 3-pointer in the last minute before halftime to put Houston up 49-47.

NOTES: Portland coach Nate McMillan said Roy would be re-evaluated on Monday and sit out the Blazers' game against Charlotte that night. McMillan was hopeful Roy would be ready for either Wednesday's game at Utah or Thursday's game against San Antonio. ... Olympic speedskater Chad Hedrick, who won gold at the 2006 Winter Games, attended the game. Hedrick, a native of nearby Spring, will leave this weekend for Vancouver, where the 2010 Games begin on Feb. 12. ... The Rockets scored 16 fast-break points, reaching double digits in the category for the eighth straight game.

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