HOUSTON -- LaMarcus Aldridge had just fouled out late in overtime after scoring a career-high and franchise playoff-record 46 points when he went to Portland teammate Damian Lillard with a simple message. Washington Wizards Jerseys . "I said: Take it over," Aldridge said. Lillard did just that, finishing with 31 points and making the go-ahead free throws in overtime to lift the Trail Blazers to a 122-120 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in a thrilling first-round series opener. Aldridge fouled out with about a minute left in overtime and Lillard, who was making his playoff debut, scored Portlands next five points and put the Trail Blazers on top by one point with a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left. "When youve got your best player playing like that, it fires you up," Lillard said. "When he went out of the game, I felt like our team ... had to have L.As back and come through for him." Joel Freeland made one of two free throws seconds after Lillards free throws to give the Blazers the win in their first trip to the post-season since 2011. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston. Aldridge, who was playing in his home state, also had 18 rebounds and two blocks. "Hes been a handful for us all year long," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "We just didnt have any answers for him." James Harden and Dwight Howard each scored 27 points for Houston, and Howard grabbed 15 rebounds. Houston could have tied it, but Harden missed a short jump shot at the buzzer. He had missed a 3-pointer on Houstons second-to-last possession. "Ive got to play better," Harden said. "I didnt shoot the ball well ... Ive got to shake it off, but it will be better in Game 2." It was a physical game with the teams combining for 79 free throws. A three-point play by Lillard gave Portland a one-point lead with 44.5 seconds remaining. Francisco Garcia and Howard both made one of two free throws after that to give Houston a 120-119 lead 20 seconds later. Aldridge fouled out when he knocked Patrick Beverley to the floor setting a pick with 1:04 left in overtime. An emotional Aldridge continued to yell at the referees even after he went to the bench. "This is one of those games where I could show my team that I wanted to lead," Aldridge said. Beverley re-injured his right knee on the play where Aldridge fouled out and McHale said the Rockets would know more about the guards status after an MRI exam on Monday. Beverley missed eight games late in the season because of a torn meniscus in that knee. A dunk by Robin Lopez gave Portland a 116-114 lead before he fouled out seconds later. Howard made both free throws to tie it. Houston scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter, with the first four from Howard, to make it 86-73. But Portland used a 10-0 run, with the help of the Hack-A-Howard defence of intentionally fouling the centre, to tie it at 98 with 2:46 remaining. Howard missed four straight free throws as Portland cut the deficit. A 3-pointer by Lillard had tied it at 104-all before Harden put Houston up with two free throws. Aldridges tip-in with 2.9 seconds left tied it at 106. Houston had a chance to win it in regulation, but Hardens shot was off. Howard and Jeremy Lin both made three-point plays to start overtime before Aldridge and Nicolas Batum hit consecutive 3s to tie it back up. Portland trailed by 11 when it used a 9-2 spurt to get within 73-69 with about two minutes left in the third quarter. Aldridge started the run with four points and Wesley Matthews finished it off by scoring the last five and capping it with dunk on a fast break. The Rockets had a four-point lead early in the third quarter when Harden heated up, scoring 10 points of a 12-3 run that extended Houstons advantage to 66-53 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the period. NOTES: Rockets Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and Houston Texans star J.J. Watt watched the game from courtside seats. ... Houston general manager Daryl Morey asked local rappers Slim Thug and Bun B if they could make a remix of the 2005 hit "3 Kings" for the Rockets, and the pair came through in just one day. The two did a concert before the game across the street from the Toyota Center and dropped the track, which mentions several players by name, to wrap up the show as Morey bobbed his head and sang along. Marcin Gortat Jersey . Cavaliers shooting guard Craig Ehlo makes a solid play on the ball, but still Jordan hits the amazing shot. Juwan Howard Jersey . "It was a little weird looking over and seeing all the green uniforms," he said of his first game against the Boston Celtics. http://www.officialwizardsprostore.com/kids-jodie-meeks-wizards-jersey/ . Coverage on TSN is underway now while action resumes on TSN2 at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. TSN GO also offers TSN subscribers bonus online coverage, with live streams of all four venues.MINNEAPOLIS - Ricky Rubio is one game away from returning to the Minnesota Timberwolves.Rubio has been cleared to play Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement has not been made.Rubio has been out since severely injuring his left ankle Nov. 7. He will have missed 43 games because of the injury, and the Wolves sunk to the bottom of the league without him.They were 8-38 entering Saturday nights game against Cleveland. When he returns, the team plans to restrict his minutes until after the All-Star break while he sees how his ankle responds.Coach Flip Saunders said before the Cavaliers game that nothing is set in stone.Hes seen three specialists and all of them have cleared him if things are OK come Monday, Saunders said. They have OKd him to be able to play on a limited time basis. We will have to wait until Monday pretty much comes.Rubio signed a four-year, $54 million contract extension before the season and helped the Wolves get off to a promising start before going down with the first ankle injury of his career.The slick-passing point guards return is the latest in a series of important developments on the injury front for the Timberwolves, following Nikola Pekovics return from a 31-game absence due to foot and ankle issues on Jan. 21 and Kevin Martins return on Wednesday from 34 games away with a fractured right wrist.The trio was expected to lead the way for the Wolves early in the first season without Kevin Love, whose trade to Cleveland ushered in yet another rebuilding plan for a team that hasnt made the playoffs since 2004. President of basketball operations and coach Flip Saunders envisioned a blended team as he called it, one in which the veterans like Rubio, Martin, Pekovic and Thaddeus Young did the bulk of the work while rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine and sophomores Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad annd Gorgui Dieng could ease into things. John Wall Jersey. That all faded in the fifth game of the season when Rubio stepped on the foot of an Orlando defender on a drive to the hoop. He suffered a severe sprain and damage to muscles and ligaments from his ankle to his toes.The Timberwolves were 2-2 at the time with tight losses to Memphis and Chicago. But Rubios absence forced LaVine to play out of position at point guard and veteran Mo Williams to shoulder more of the playmaking responsibility after signing a one-year deal last summer.They lost the first five games without Rubio, Pekovics chronic foot problems returned later in that same road trip and Martin broke his wrist on Nov. 19. The Wolves won just three times in 32 games, effectively burying themselves before the new year even started.Rubios return is the key, with his pass-first mentality and ability to defend at the point expected to bolster the Wolves lacklustredefence and hasten the development of Wiggins and the rest of the younger players.Rubio has been pressing hard to return to action, but the Timberwolves are taking no chances with their franchise point guard. Saunders said last week that doctors cautioned a premature return could bring on a stress fracture, which would result in another long absence.Wolves doctors and athletic trainer Gregg Farnam have closely monitored his progress. He started practicing about two weeks ago and has been going through strenuous workouts prior to each game this week to work his way back.Saunders said the extended absence may be a blessing in disguise because it gave him time to remake his jumpshot, which has always been the weakest part of his game. Rubio has spent hours with shooting coach Mike Penberthy to get more arc on his jumper.We might look back in a year and say maybe the best thing that ever happened was having those three months off where he was able to really break down his shot and work on his shot and become a consistent shooter, Saunders said. Cheap Hawks Jerseys Cheap Celtics Jerseys Cheap Nets Jerseys Cheap Hornets Jerseys Cheap Bulls Jerseys Cheap Cavaliers Jerseys Cheap Mavericks Jerseys Cheap Nuggets Jerseys Cheap Pistons Jerseys Cheap Warriors Jerseys Cheap Rockets Jerseys Cheap Pacers Jerseys Cheap Clippers Jerseys Cheap Lakers Jerseys Cheap Grizzlies Jerseys ' ' '