Notebook: Hornets 99, Trail Blazers 63



Posted Feb 13, 2013 11:07 PM

Bradley Handwerger, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to pace the home team to a 99-63 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. The 36-point win was the largest of the season for the Hornets, who improved to 19-34 but won four of five before the All Star break.

Portland (25-28), meanwhile, hits the midseason break losing five of six, all on the road.

The Hornets were buoyed by their bench, which outscored Portland's 45-32, including 14 points from sixth man Ryan Anderson and another 13 from Jason Smith.

For all intents and purposes, the game was in New Orleans' control from the outset and was all but finished in the first four minutes of the second quarter. The Hornets trailed for only 1:07 before Greivis Vasquez tied it at 2-2 with a driving layup. The game was tied again at 4-4 and then New Orleans took over, slowly building a five-point lead by the end of the first quarter and a 12-point lead by halftime. Once Darius Miller drained a 3-pointer with 8:06 to go in the first half, the Hornets never led by fewer than 10 points the rest of the game.

New Orleans held Portland to just 32.4 percent shooting and outscored the Trail Blazers by 26 in the paint. Portland's Damian Lillard, in the running for rookie of the year, was held to only 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting.

QUOTABLE: "It is embarrassing, one of the most embarrassing nights of the year."
-- Portland's Nicolas Batum

THE STAT: 18 -- Portland's focus appeared off Wednesday night and it showed the most in how it handled the ball. The Trail Blazers turned the ball over 18 times, which the Hornets turned into 20 points. What didn't help Portland was that it also couldn't force any turnovers, coaxing the Hornets into just seven giveaways.

TURNING POINT: Less than two minutes into the first quarter, Portland's Wesley Matthews went down with a left ankle sprain. He didn't return and as such, the Trail Blazers missed out on his average of 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

QUOTABLE II: "I didn't realize what I was shooting for until I missed it. And then I realized, oh, that's why. I was like, what are they booing me for? And then I realized French fries. We only had 98 points."
-- Hornets forward Lance Thomas, who was booed after missing the first of two free throws with the team sitting on 98 points. McDonald's runs a deal where if the Hornets get 100 points, those attending the game get a free small fries.

HOT: New Orleans' Davis was just 5-for-24 in the three games prior to Wednesday night. Against Portland, he broke out of his slump in a big way. The rookie big man went 10-for-17, scoring 21 points, his most since scoring 18 on Feb. 2. He also added 11 rebounds giving him his ninth double-double of the season.

NOT: Portland's outside game was nearly non-existent and that played into the big loss. The Trail Blazers were just 2-for-17, or 11.8 percent, from beyond the arc, way below their 34 percent season average.

NOTABLE: The Hornets held the Trail Blazers to a season-low 63 points, 14 below the previous mark for a New Orleans opponent. ... Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge scored only six points, far below his 21.2 per game average prior to Wednesday night. ... Portland's 26 first-half points were a season-low for a Hornets opponent. ... The Trail Blazers shot just 30.6 percent in the first half.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Tuesday vs. Chicago, Wednesday @ Cleveland, Feb. 22 vs. Dallas. For the Trail Blazers, Tuesday vs. Phoenix, Feb. 22 @ L.A. Lakers, Feb. 24 vs. Boston.