The Rockets did not quite match Thursday’s first half against Oklahoma City, but they were close enough. They scored 71 points in the first half Monday, a James Harden bucket that was taken off the board away from matching Thursday night’s roll into halftime.

Thoughts of that night and what had gone so horribly wrong were inescapable. Rather than hide from them, the Rockets invited the memories, as if they knew the Trail Blazers would make the sort of run they have so often this season. The Rockets would have to face that heat again to finally put Thursday behind them.

“I said when we came back here, ‘We did this against the Thunder and ended up having the worst second half ever,’ ” Chandler Parsons said. “I was definitely letting them know there could be no letups.”

Portland made its move, but this time the Rockets did not flinch. They repelled one run and then another, doing what they had to build the lead in the first place until they had finished off the Trail Blazers 126-113 with their top-scoring night of the season.

To the Rockets, the numbers piled up were not about another roaring first half, the third in a row in which they topped 60 points, but a second half in which they responded to the pressure as they could not less than a week ago.

“We’ve been in that situation so many times, eventually we’re going to start playing better and … be more comfortable in those situations,” said Parsons, who had a season-high 31 points, adding 10 rebounds, seven assists and two blocked shots.

“I thought we handled it a lot better tonight. We have to stick with what works. A lot of times, we get big leads, and then we start doing little silly things, and we start changing our offense. We can’t afford to do that.”

Portland finished the first half with a 7-0 run and opened the second with a 3-pointer, rapidly reducing a 22-point deficit to 12. The Trail Blazers scored on six of seven possessions to start the second half, with Dwight Howard picking up a technical foul and the Rockets going through three scoreless minutes. With five minutes remaining before the fourth quarter, the top-scoring team in the NBA was within six and rolling.