Yao Ming scored 24 points, all in the first half, and the Houston Rockets spoiled Portland's back-in-the playoffs euphoria with a 108-81 victory over the Trail Blazers in the opener of their first-round series Saturday night.
The Rockets led by as many as 31 points in the second half and there was simply no way the young Blazers could catch up.
Yao, who also had nine rebounds, hit all nine of his attempts from the field and all six of his free throws. Portland centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden had no answer for the seven-time All-Star from China.
Yao did not attempt a shot in the second half and sat for all of the fourth quarter.