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McHale passes on soccer replay

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Houston guard Troy Daniels tries to stop Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews from scoring inside during overtime of Game 4 at Moda Center on Sunday.Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale doesn't look like a prospective member of the Timbers Army.

Just 22 minutes before the Rockets' 123-120 overtime loss to the Trail Blazers on Sunday, McHale walked into the media room and saw a replay of the Portland Timbers-Houston Dynamo match on the television.

“I can’t believe you guys are watching soccer in here,” McHale said, laughing and shaking his head. “Soccer?”

• Both the Rockets and Blazers seemed to have their issues with the referees throughout Game 4 of their NBA first-round playoff series. On practically every call that went against them, that team spent a good chunk of time discussing and/or whining about the decision.

By the end of the night, though, the calls looked fairly even on the stat sheet. The Rockets had 27 fouls, the Blazers 24. Houston shot 38 free throws, Portland 30. Each teams got two technical fouls (Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard for the Rockets; Wesley Matthews and Mo Williams for the Blazers).

Toward the end of the third quarter, the Moda Center faithful became so disgusted, though, that they began a chant of “These refs suck."

Houston point guard Patrick Beverley, however, said the referees have not had an impact on the best-of-seven Western Conference series — which Portland leads 3-1 — and he defended both the officials and the job they have done.

“The refs are doing a great job,” Beverley said. “Their job is not easy. They’re making the best calls they see.”

• Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons had a good night and a solid start in Game 4. Parsons finished with 26 points, after being held to 15 in both Games 2 and 3. He was 11 of 17 from the field on Sunday and made 4 of his 5 shots from 3-point range.

"I have to continue to stay aggressive. I can’t sit back," he said. "I have to be a part of the offense, especially when I have it going like that.”

• Houston reserve guard Troy Daniels continued to have an impact on the series.

After not playing in the first two games, Daniels — who was in the NBA Development League less than three weeks ago — gave the Rockets the Game 3-win when he hit a 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds left in overtime.

On Sunday, Daniels went 4 of 5 from beyond the arc and finished with 17 points.

“Confidence is building,” Daniels said. “It’s my job to make shots, and my number got called again. I was able to go out there and help my teammates.”