Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets: Game preview, time, TV channel, how to watch ...

This must be the game.

The Portland Trail Blazers have lost to quality teams while going 0-6 on the road so far this season.

The Houston Rockets (1-10), Portland’s opponent Friday night, do not fall into that category.

All six of the Blazers’ defeats have come against teams that if the season ended today would at least be in the play-in round. Only Charlotte (6-7) is under .500.

The Rockets, in complete rebuild mode and the only NBA team yet to win a road game, have some good pieces in place but clearly haven’t been able to produce much in the way of quality basketball.

Houston ranks 28th in offensive rating (100.5) but a decent 19th in defensive rating (107.8).

The Rockets are averaging just 103.8 points per game, 24th in the NBA. So, there is no excuse for the Blazers to lose this game because their defense is overmatched, despite ranking last in the NBA in road defensive rating (117.1).

Houston could make trouble if the Blazers don’t take the Rockets seriously, however. Portland has lost several road games because bench players had big nights. So, it wouldn’t be inconceivable for the Blazers to allow the same thing to happen against the Rockets. But there are three main starters Portland musts concert itself with.

Forward Christian Wood leads the team with 17.7 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. He scored 22 points with 12 rebounds against the Blazers last season on Jan. 28 in a win at home. Earlier in the season, during an overtime road loss at Portland, Wood went for 31 points and 13 rebounds.

After Wood, the Blazers must deal with rookie guard Jalen Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. But he is averaging just 13.5 points per game while shooting 35.9% from the field and 28.4% on threes.

Houston expected big things from guard Kevin Porter Jr., but he is off to a rough start, shooting 36.6% from the field for 12.8 points per game.

Next to Wood, the most consistent player on the Rockets roster is veteran wing Eric Gordon, who is shooting 50.6% from the field and 51.4% on threes while averaging 13.4 points per game.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS AT HOUSTON ROCKETS

What: Portland Trail Blazers (5-7) at Rockets (1-10), 5 p.m. Friday.

Where: Toyota Center, Houston.

Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM).

TV channel: Root Sports (in Portland: Comcast 734/34; DirecTV 687).

Watch the game live online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial). You can also get this game on DirecTV Stream’s “CHOICE” package (promotional offers), if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. If you already have a cable or satellite provider that carries Root Sports and want to watch online, you can watch this game live on Root Sports Live.

ODDS

Moneyline: POR -230 | HOU +195

Spread: POR -5.5 | Over/Under: 224

INJURIES

Blazers: G/F Norman Powell (left quad strain) is questionable.

Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr. (left thigh; contusion) is probable; Garrison Matthews (G League - two-way) and Daishen Nix (G League - two-way) are out.

NEXT UP

The Blazers conclude their four-game trip Sunday at Denver (7-4) then return home to host Toronto (7-6) on Monday.

-- Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

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