PORTLAND, Ore. Mike Pouncey Jersey . -- LaMarcus Aldridges big night against the Houston Rockets wasnt about the stats, the All-Star votes or the fans chanting "MVP! MVP!" "This was a we needed a win night for me," said Aldridge, who had 31 points and a career-high 25 rebounds in the Trail Blazers 111-104 victory Thursday. For Aldridge, it was important that Portland (19-4) come away with a win after losing to the Rockets earlier this season -- a rare blip for the Western Conference leaders. It was the first time in franchise history that a Blazers player scored 30 or more points with 25 or more rebounds. "Im blessed," Aldridge said. "(But) I felt tonight, it was needed." Dwight Howard had 32 points and 17 rebounds for the Rockets, who beat the Blazers 116-101 on Nov. 5. That was one of just two losses at home this season for Portland. The Trail Blazers led by 10 early in the fourth quarter, but Chandler Parsons hit a 3-pointer to narrow it to 93-88 with 7:07 left. Houston closed to 97-95 after James Harden made a layup and a free throw with 4:45 to go. Nicolas Batums 3-pointer pushed Portlands lead to 102-95 before Wesley Matthews layup and free throw made it 108-96 with 2:04 left and all but put the game out of reach for the Rockets. "They made some big plays down the stretch," Howard said. "It seemed like every time we would close the gap, they came down and got a great shot. This was big for them." Blazers centre Robin Lopez added 16 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season, a career high. Portland was coming off a 105-94 victory in Utah on Monday. The Blazers have scored 100 or more points in 10 consecutive games. Houston had won two straight, including a 98-88 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The Rockets (15-7) were without Omer Asik, who missed his fourth straight game with a bruised right thigh. Houston did get back guard Jeremy Lin, who missed the previous six games with a sprained right knee. Rockets coach Kevin McHale was not with the team because of the death of his mother. Her funeral is scheduled for Friday in Minnesota. Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson ran the club against the Blazers. "Portland is obviously really good, and theyre really good in this gym," Sampson said. "They are playing with a lot of confidence right now." Neither side was able to get in front by more than five points in the first half. Portland held a 21-20 lead after the opening quarter. Aldridge was just 1 for 7 from the floor but he had nine rebounds. Houston went ahead 32-28 on Parsons layup and Howards hook shot, and the Rockets led 44-43 at halftime. Neither team shot well, with Portland at 32 per cent and Houston at 36 per cent. The Rockets had just five first-half assists. The Blazers opened the second half with an 11-3 run capped by Matthews 3-pointer to take a 54-47 lead. Portland stretched the lead to 59-49 on Lopezs dunk and free throw. Aldridge got rolling with 11 points and eight rebounds. The Rockets closed the gap to 70-68 late in the third quarter when Howard hit a pair of free throws and dunked. Omri Casspi tied it at 70 on free throws with 2 minutes left. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, but Portland scored 10 unanswered points to go up 86-76. "I think we go into games with a certain level of confidence, but, at the same time, we realize that were playing hard and our success is because were playing hard," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Our record is what it is, but its not easy. You have to compete every night." NOTES: Aldridge has four 20-20 games, making him the fourth Blazers player with that many. He is the only NBA player with two this season. ... Houstons Terrence Jones went to Portlands Jefferson High School. ... It was the opener of a three-game road trip for the Rockets. ... The Blazers embark on a four-game trip starting at Philadelphia on Saturday. ... Former Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas threw mini footballs into the crowd to promote Portlands new Arena League team, which begins play next season. Dan Feeney Jersey . The 12th-ranked Haas served well throughout the match at the Ibirapuera arena, allowing only one break point to the 152nd-ranked Italian. Both players held serve until the first-set tiebreak, when Haas stepped up his game to easily clinch the set. Drew Kaser Jersey . Last year, Islanders forward Colin Mcdonald released a "Do It For Colin" campaign to promote his teammate and friend John Tavares for the EA sports honour:The most popular sports voting video ever has to go to Chris Bosh who showcased his comedic abilities in his effort to get fans to vote him into the 2008 All Star Game:You can vote for TJ and other star players for the NHL 15 cover vote here. http://www.chargersauthenticshop.com/Chargers-Hunter-Henry-Draft-Jersey/ . - Ronda Rousey realizes shes finishing up one of the biggest years for any fighter in the young history of mixed martial arts at UFC 168, and the UFCs bantamweight champion intends to go out on top.CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu is not going to let the pressure get to him. The touted rookie from Cuba hit a game-winning grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning for his second home run of the night, rallying the Chicago White Sox past the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 on Friday. Evan Longorias two-run homer in the top of the ninth put Tampa Bay ahead 6-4, but the White Sox werent done. Abreus drive off closer Grant Balfour (0-1) won it after Chicago pitchers combined for 11 walks. Abreu, who signed a $68 million, six-year contract in the off-season, finished with three hits and six RBIs. He became the first rookie in major league history to hit nine home runs by the end of April. "I really didnt have any expectations. As a matter of fact, I was talking to Albert Pujols during spring training and he told me, Hey, dont worry about hitting the home runs early in the season since its your first season and all that," Abreu said through a translator. "So I wasnt trying to hit them -- they have just happened." Balfour gave up a one-out double to Alejandro De Aza in the ninth, then walked Tyler Flowers and pinch-hitter Paul Konerko. As Konerko trotted to first, Balfour and Konerko exchanged words. "I dont know. I know his thing after every pitch, he comes way in. Likes to get the ball, likes to stare at you, stare at the hitter," Konerko said. "Thats fine, no big deal. You know thats what he likes to do. After I walked there, he is close to me, eye contact was made and I start to run down the line and I heard yelling. I dont know what he was yelling about. I was just trying to make sure it wasnt toward my direction. Thats really it. I think he was probably yelling at himself to get going or get better. When someone that close is yelling, you want to find out why." Balfour said he wasnt trying to show up Konerko. "Im angry at myself, so if he wants to yell at me, whatever. I wasnt yelling at him. I was frustrated by the fact I missed by 6 feet back there," Balfour said. "This is a frustrating night for me. I know Im better than that. So Ill come back tomorrow and turn the page. If I get an opportunity, go out there and get it done." Adam Eaton hit a grounder to second base, but Tampa Bay was unable to turn the double play after getting a force at second. Rays manager Joe Maddon challenged the call, but Eaton clearly beat the throw to first and the ruling was upheld on replay. Balfour walked Marcus Semien to load the basses again and Abreu drove an 0-1 pitch to right-centre for his ninth home run. Travis Benjamin Jersey. "Pretty impressive. Really a big, strong fella with a controlled attitude at the plate thats not a wild swinger. You have to make good pitches to him or hes going to hurt you like he did tonight," Maddon said. "Its not fun when that happens, but Im still going to go out for my Guinness tonight regardless." Matt Joyce drew his team-record fifth walk of the game leading off the ninth against White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom (2-1). Longoria followed with his third home run of the season to centre to break a 4-all tie. Tyler Flowers had two hits and two RBIs for the White Sox in the opener of a four-game series. Chicago starter Erik Johnson couldnt get out of the second inning. The Rays tied a club mark by drawing 11 walks. Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer pitched six-plus innings. He allowed four runs and nine hits. With the Rays trailing 1-0 in the second, Yunel Escobar and Ryan Hanigan hit back-to-back RBI singles. Ben Zobrist followed with an RBI double. Johnson was chased after walking Joyce with the bases loaded on his 39th pitch of the inning, giving the Rays a 4-1 lead. The Rays batted around against Johnson in the second. Abreu hit a solo shot in the third and the White Sox tied it in the fourth when Flowers lined a two-run single with the bases loaded. But a baserunning gaffe by Chicago prevented a potentially bigger inning. Eaton grounded back to Archer, who caught De Aza between third and home. De Aza was eventually tagged out in a rundown, then Flowers was tagged out while trying to go to third. The Rays had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth, but Hanigan grounded into an inning-ending double play. "Its one of those games, if you permit it to fester, it will, and if you dont permit it, it wont," Maddon said. "So for me, its a loss and a loss is a loss is a loss. Of course, we really had a chance to win that game, but youve got to come and play tomorrow -- you dont get a week off." After missing five games with a mild left knee strain, Eaton led off the first inning with a single and stole second. He later scored on Abreus single. NOTES: Before the game, the White Sox claimed reliever Hector Noesi off waivers from Texas. He is expected to throw a bullpen before Saturdays game. ... Rays LHP Cesar Ramos will start Saturday in place of LHP Matt Moore, who had Tommy John surgery Tuesday. 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