Notebook: Trail Blazers 95, Hornets 94



Posted Dec 17, 2012 1:24 AM

Kerry Eggers, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Damian Lillard's 3-pointer with 0.3 remaining gave Portland a 95-94 victory over New Orleans on Sunday night at the Rose Garden.

The Hornets (5-18) had rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit to tie the game at 92-92 on Austin Rivers' 3-pointer with 42 seconds left. After a timeout with 4.2 seconds to go, the Trail Blazers inbounded to Lillard, who launched a 26-foot three that swished through the net. The Hornets inbounded and Lance Thomas converted a meaningless layup at the buzzer.

J.J. Hickson collected 24 points and 16 rebounds for Portland (11-12), which won its third straight game. Ryan Anderson scored 26 points and Greivis Vasquez contributed 23 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for New Orleans, which lost its seventh in a row.

QUOTABLE: "When I let it go, I got it over the top of (defender Austin Rivers') hands. I was like, 'That looks good. That's going in.'"

-- Damian Lillard on his game-winning 3-pointer


THE STAT: Nicolas Batum finished with 11 points, 10 assists, five steals and five blocked shots in 42 minutes. He became the first player with at least 10 assists, five steals and five blocks in a game since Jamaal Tinsley in November 2001.

TURNING POINT: New Orleans trailed 69-53 midway through the third quarter but, led by Anderson and Vasquez, gradually reeled the Blazers in over the final 18 minutes. Lillard's buzzer-beater made the rally for naught.

QUOTABLE II: "We put ourselves in a hole in the first half with turnovers, giving them easy buckets, and we had a couple of guys who just didn't give us much tonight. But we had a group of guys in the second half who competed, and we played hard. A lot of nights we're outmatched talent-wise, but when you fight like that you give yourself a chance to win."

-- New Orleans coach Monty Williams, referring to the fact that 11 of the Hornets' 14 turnovers came in the game's first 19 minutes.


HOT: Anderson was sensational from 3-point range, knocking down 7 of 10 from beyond the arc.


NOT: Portland rookie Will Barton played five minutes in the first quarter and got up six shots, making one.


GOOD MOVES: Batum took the ball in right frontcourt, got a step on New Orleans' Xavier Henry along the baseline and rose for a power dunk early in the fourth quarter.


BAD MOVE: With Portland ahead 95-92 and 0.3 left, the Hornets had time to catch and shoot a 3-pointer to tie. It was their only chance to win. Williams chose instead to run a play that allowed Thomas to score a meaningless 2-point basket at the buzzer.


QUOTABLE III: "We bent, but we didn't break. I was pleased with that. After we got the lead to 16, we had some loose possessions. We could have pushed our lead a little bit more. That bit us as the game went forward."

-- Portland coach Terry Stotts


NOTABLE: Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 20 points, left in the final seconds with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative.


UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Tuesday @ Golden State, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers, Friday @ San Antonio. For the Trail Blazers, Thursday vs. Denver, Saturday vs. Phoenix, Sunday @ Sacramento.