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HOUSTON -- In the postgame locker room after the Houston Rockets 126-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, James Harden teased teammates, laughed about excess shower water caught in his beard and joked with reporters.It was a stark contrast from the more solemn and stern version of Harden from last season.Ive been having fun all year, even in games we lose, Harden said. This is a special group of guys, coaching staff included, and this locker room is definitely enjoying this ride right now.Harden had 26 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds for his third triple-double of the season to help the Rockets overwhelm the Trail Blazers in their highest-scoring game of the season.Harden completed the triple-double in the third quarter. The Rockets rebounded a night after scoring just three points in the final 6 minutes of a 105-103 loss in Oklahoma City.Its the chemistry, Rockets coach Mike DAntoni said. Everybody is feeling good about themselves. Were going to make mistakes, and we still have some improving to do, but as long as they come with that attitude every day and work at it and fix their mistakes, good things will happen.C.J. McCollum led Portland with 26 points, Maurice Harkless had 19, and Damian Lillard 18, his second-lowest output of the season.We kind of suck right now -- its that simple, Lillard said. Were usually a pretty good offensive team. Weve been bad on offense and bad on defense. Were trying hard, but were not making the smartest plays -- just not good enough. Were not very good right now.Blazers coach Terry Stotts was much less harsh in his assessment of his teams second straight loss. Portland outscored Houston by a combined 12 points in the second and fourth quarters but was ultimately doomed by a 29-point deficit in the first and third quarters.The game was tied at 62 at halftime, but Houston took a 100-83 lead into the fourth quarter.Theyre very good at what they do and Harden is key to that, Stotts said. Houston is a very good offensive team -- its a challenge to guard them.Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley made his season debut after missing the first 11 games following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Limited to 25 minutes, Beverley had 11 points, three assists and three blocks.Our defense is getting a lot better with him out there because of his toughness, DAntoni said about Beverley. He is smart and plays with an edge. Youve got to have that.Playing without backup center Nene, Houston frequently featured smaller lineups with Montrezl Harrell filling in with interior defense while starting center Clint Capela was on the bench. Capela had 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Harrell added nine points and eight rebounds off the bench.TIP-INSTrail Blazers: McCollum made his first six field-goal attempts and had 19 points at the half. ... Portland was outrebounded 54-41 and outscored 56-48 in the paint. ... Mason Plumlee had eight rebounds and seven assists. ... Al-Farouq Aminu (calf) missed his fifth straight game.Rockets: Despite posting a season-high 41 points in the first quarter, Houston was scoreless for the first 2 minutes. ... In the second game of a back-to-back veteran center Nene was given the night off for rest. ... Houston made 14 of 32 3-pointers (43.8 percent).BEVERLEYS NEW LOOKIn his season debut, Beverley sported a shorter haircut and a slightly leaner frame than he did at the end of last season.Losing a lot of weight really helped me change my body, Beverley said. I felt strong, I felt fast and my wind is going to come. I felt really good and felt confident, too.WHOSE HOUSE? COOGS HOUSEThe Toyota Center crowd erupted for the loudest ovation of the game early in the fourth quarter when highlights from the University of Houstons Thursday night game against No. 8 Louisville were shown on the videoboard alongside an up-to-date score showing the Cougars up 31-0. The games were played simultaneously three miles apart.UP NEXTTrail Blazers: Travel to New Orleans on Friday night.Rockets: Host Utah on Saturday night. Cheap MLB Jerseys CHeap MLB Jerseys China . The International Olympic Committee released the official list of bid cities on Friday after the deadline for applications had passed. The candidates -- all previously announced in their own countries -- are: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm. . To the surprise of many, it isnt the Wolverines but their in-state rivals the Michigan State Spartans. Cheap Baseball Jerseys . Woodson said during a radio interview Thursday that the Knicks Carmelo Anthony doesnt get the same calls as other superstars. Wholesale MLB Jerseys . It was hard for Luck to pull off another comeback, or even get into the end zone, while standing on the sideline. Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals to give the Chargers a 19-9 victory against the Colts on Monday night. MILWAUKEE -- To pull away from the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks went back to their strength.The Bucks scored 18 of their 50 points in the paint in the fourth quarter, using two big runs to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 106-96 on Saturday night.Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, while Michael Beasley added a season-high 19.Despite switching to a zone defense in the second half, Memphis could not slow the Bucks. Milwaukee scored 50 points in the paint and turned 13 turnovers by the Grizzlies into 24 points.The Bucks entered averaging a league-best 49.8 points in the paint and have not notched at least 50 in six of their nine games.Beasley scored five points during an 11-2 run that gave the Bucks an 86-72 lead with 9:59 to play.I thought Beasley was great off the bench for us, Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. During that stretch late when they went zone, he did what he does best and thats get the ball in the paint.Memphis pulled to within 95-90 on a basket by Randolph with 4:41 left, but Beasley answered on the other end.Chandler Parsons made a 3-pointer with 2:56 remaining to cut Milwaukees lead to 99-96. After Antetokounmpo split a pair of free throws and blocked Parsons shot, Greg Monroe scored inside to put the Bucks up 102-96 with 2:17 left.Milwaukee closed the game on a 7-0 run, as Memphis did not score in the last 2:56 of the game.We had a lot of really rushed possessions with no detail, Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said. We were kind of sporadic and scattered.In addition to leading the Bucks in scoring, Antetokounmpo bounced back from a pair of down games to fill the stat sheet with six rebounds, five assists, four steals and four blocks.My teammates wanted to get me back into a rhythm because theyy told me from day one that they need me, Antetokounmpo said.dddddddddddd. Ive just got to do whatever it takes to win. I told them Im going to play as hard as I can and sometimes theres going to be ups and downs.Marc Gasol finished with 18 points for Memphis before fouling out in the final seconds. Vince Carter added 17 points.The Bucks led by 13 points with 1:50 left in the second quarter, but the Grizzlies closed to within 44-39 at the break with an 8-0 run, including scoring four points in the final 1.9 seconds of the half.TIP-INSGrizzlies: Carter passed Charles Oakley for 24th on the career games played list with 1,283 and passed Gary Payton for 21st in made field goals with 8,709. ... Tony Allen missed his second consecutive game due to a groin injury.Bucks: John Henson started at center in place of Miles Plumlee and scored eight points with seven rebounds in 18 minutes. ... Mirza Teletovic played a season-season low five minutes and did not attempt a shotSIXTH MENIn Monroe and Zach Randolph, Milwaukee and Memphis each have longtime starters playing critical roles off the bench.Prior to this season, Randolph had 820 starts in 984 career games, while Monroe had started 401 of 457 games.Ours is really just out of necessity, Memphis coach David Fizdale said. If Zach wasnt coming off the bench for us, I really dont know how we would score.UP NEXTGrizzlies: Memphis visits the Utah Jazz on Monday. The Grizzlies have lost two straight in Salt Lake City.Bucks: At the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Milwaukee won two of three against Atlanta last season with both victories coming in overtime Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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