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Rockets Kick Off New Season with Win Against Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Reserve Travis Outlaw scored 23 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 96-87 in the season opener Tuesday night.

Brandon Roy added 20 points and five assists for the Blazers. Portland hit 20 of 22 free throws and outrebounded Houston 51-33.

Aaron Brooks had 19 points for the Rockets, who defeated Portland in six games this past spring in the first round of the playoffs.

That was a much different Houston team, though. Rockets center Yao Ming is out for the season after offseason foot surgery, and Ron Artest, who pestered the Blazers, left for the Lakers as a free agent.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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