Houston still hasn’t found a way to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge.
The evening seemed to be going in favor of the Rockets, as Dwight Howard was taking the game over, continually punishing the rim as the only reliable scoring option for the team.
Howard scored the first 13 points of the game for Houston and tallied 25 points in the first half, continually slamming the ball home on Robin Lopez and any other Portland player that tried to interfere.
With Howard looking unstoppable on the offensive end, Aldridge carried the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 victory by once again displaying his exceptional mid-range game along with his efficiency at the basket as he scored 43 points.
Eleven of his 18 made field goals came from the left side of the basket from 11-to-20 feet away from the rim.
The 6-foot-11 forward led Portland to a win in the series opener by scoring a career-high 46 points, the most ever in franchise history during the post season, to go along with 18 rebounds before fouling out.
LeBron James was the last player to score 40 points in a playoff game on consecutive occasions when he did it back in April 2009. while he was still in Cleveland.
His 89 points in the first two games of the series are the most of any player in the last 50 years other than Michael Jordan (112 points in 1986 and 102 points 1988) and Jerry West (101 points in 1965).
Jordan and Tracy McGrady are the only players to score at least 40 points in Games 1 and 2 while playing on the road.
Through two games, Aldridge is leading all post season performers in scoring average (44.5 points), field goals attempted (59) and field goals made (35).
Aldridge has connected on 59.3 percent of his attempts from the field and his 10 offensive rebounds are tied with Valanciunas and Zach Randolph for the third most since the start of the playoffs.
His 13 rebounds per game trail only Toronto center Jonas Valanciunas (16) and Howard (14.5) while his 2.5 blocks per game rank as the fifth most during the 2014 playoffs.
The Trail Blazers are the only road team to win both games on the road in the playoffs this year and managed to post 112 points even with the rest of the starting lineup struggling to score the ball.
The other four starters for Portland poured in 39 points on 37.1 percent shooting from the field.
Aldridge has scored 40 more points than anyone else on the roster for the Trail Blazers and only one other player on the team is shooting above 43 percent from the field during the series.
The three-time All-Star forward excelled in Game 1 by dominating in the post. During Game 2, he was able to expand his range, with only four of his 18 made shots coming inside the paint Wednesday.
Houston responded to his domination in the post by switching defenders, Aldridge stepped away from the basket and sank a jumper from anywhere on the floor.
The Toyota Center, located in Aldridge’s home state of Texas, has been one of his favorite places to play this season.
In two regular season appearances in Houston, Aldridge scored 27.5 points while playing at the Toyota Center.
Even as the Rockets focused on Aldridge, they couldn’t find a way to slow him down.
Aldridge can still manage to get a high percentage shot off while being double-teamed, quick enough to attack the basket against Howard or Asik or even make the right pass to a teammate.
Portland has given the ball to Aldridge a total of 157 times and he has committed just four turnovers in the series.
A three day layover from the series opener wasn’t enough to throw Aldridge off his game.
For each of the past three years, Aldridge has been selected as a representative for the Western Conference at All-Star weekend, but over the past two games, he has proven he is a superstar in this league.