James Harden hated how easy the Rockets made things for Aldridge in Game 1.
“He was just too comfortable out there offensively,” Harden said. “He got the ball where he wanted to and one or two dribbles and boom right by the rim. So we have to make it more difficult on him.”
Sunday’s game was made even more special for Aldridge because he is from Dallas and starred at the University of Texas. He always loves playing in his home state, but Sunday night’s game certainly ranked as his favorite game here.
“It was perfect,” he said.
He took the game ball to save as a memento of his great night, but didn’t do anything special to celebrate the feat. He simply had a low-key postgame dinner with some teammates and his mother Georgia, who was one of less than five relatives he invited to attend the game.
“I was so exhausted that I ate with my mom and then I went to sleep,” he said. “She was so excited. She was acting like it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon instead of 2 a.m..”
Aldridge fouled out with about a minute left in overtime on Sunday night and Damian Lillard, who was making his playoff debut, finished it off by scoring five straight points to end with 31. The pair became the first teammates to score at least 45 and 30 points in a game in the playoffs since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did it in 1992.
Aldridge had some fun after the game, stopping to tease former Trail Blazer and current Rockets’ broadcaster Clyde Drexler about surpassing one of his records. Drexler holds a number of career records for Portland, and Aldridge’s 46 points drops Drexler’s 42 points down to third on the team’s list of top playoff performances.