Rookie Daniels lifts Rockets to OT victory

Posted at 04/26/2014 5:20 PM
Houston Rockets guard Troy Daniels (30) makes a three point basket over Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) with 12 seconds left in overtime to win game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer,USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

PORTLAND - Troy Daniels hit a three pointer in the closing seconds of overtime to lift the Houston Rockets to a 121-116 win over Portland in a Western Conference playoff contest Friday.

James Harden tallied 37 points and Dwight Howard finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets in game three of their best-of-seven opening round NBA series. The Trail Blazers lead the series two games to one.

Harden set a Rockets' playoff record with 35 field goal attempts Friday. He attempted 11 three pointers, making good on three of them.

But it was seldom used rookie Daniels who stole the limelight. He made a name for himself as a top scorer this season while playing for Rio Grande Valley of the NBA's developmental league.

Daniels did not play in either of Houston's losses in the first two games of this series but came off the bench to score nine points in game three.

"I was just hoping it was going to go in," he said. "I am happy to have hit it (winner) tonight. It is my job to perform and that is what I did."

Harden tied the score 116-116 with a 21-footer with 1:51 left in the overtime. It remained tied until Jeremy Lin grabbed a loose ball and fed Daniels on the left wing for his third three pointer of the game with just 11 seconds left.

Nicolas Batum's three-point attempt sailed long and Daniels grabbed a key rebound to secure the win for the Rockets.

Harden's free throws with less than a second left resulted in the final score.

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