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The Rockets report, brought to you by APG&E: Rockets rally back to beat Spurs 109-107

The Rockets report, brought to you by APG&E: Rockets rally back to beat Spurs 109-107

Much like Houston's win over the Cavaliers last week, this game could have gone in an entirely different direction had the Rockets not responded to the Spurs' run with appropriate fear. The Cavaliers lept out to a 27-12 run to start the first quarter and didn't look back for the entire first half. The Rockets ended the first half down 73-59.

Harden really struggled in the first half scoring only 9 points on 4 of 17 shooting from the field. The third quarter is really where he turned it on, scoring 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field and making 2 of his 3 three-pointers. The Rockets followed suit, outscoring the Spurs 30 to 17 in this period.

"My confidence is never gone," said Harden. "No matter if I go 0-for-20 or whatever. Like I'm going to always shoot the basketball and be aggressive."

I think it's huge. James didn't have a great first half," said D'Antoni." Just a lot of good things happened. A lot of guys contributed and it was a good win. All wins are good, but that was a really good win."

Star of the game: Thought the Rockets were utterly lost in the first half, it's anyone's guess where they would be without Russell Westbrook's 25-points on 10-16 shooting from the field.

"He held us in there," said D'Antoni. "His points gave us a chance."

Ironically, Westbrook had the team's lowest plus/minus (-10), but finished the game with 31 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on 53.5% true shooting. To his credit, Westbrook has answered the bell every single time James Harden has had an off night. He may not be having a career season, but the games he does perform at a high-level are important for this Rockets' team.

Honorable mention: After worries about how he'll perform off the bench, Ben McLemore has proven he can be every bit the reserve that Gerald Green was for Houston before broke his foot.

"it's not just making adjustments," said McLemore about coming off the bench. "It's just playing free, you know, not thinking too much and just going out there and just playing the game. That's what I've been doing over these last few games."

McLemore poured in 17 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and 4 of 9 shooting from three-point range for Houston. With Danuel House struggling with

Key moment: The Rockets had to come out of the half on fire if they had any chance

Up next: The Rockets travel to Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. to take on the Clippers

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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