Notebook: Hornets 98, Trail Blazers 96



Posted Mar 10, 2013 10:20 PM

Bradley Handwerger, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: For the first time this week, the New Orleans Hornets held on to a double-digit second-half lead, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 98-96 after Ryan Anderson sank a layup and free throw with 1.8 seconds to play.

New Orleans (22-42) had lost to Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers at home earlier in the week after holding 17-point and 21-point second-half advantages.

The same scenario wouldn't play out Sunday night after Portland battled back from 10 points down. After Portland's Damian Lillard knocked down a 26-foot 3-pointer that gave the Blazers (29-33) lead with 11.2 seconds to play, New Orleans' Greivis Vasquez drove the lane, sucking the defense with him.

That opened up Anderson, who put in the ball, was fouled by Jared Jeffries and sank the free throw to give New Orleans its final tally.

New Orleans was buoyed by outside precision, going 11-for-20 from beyond the arc. Anderson led New Orleans with 20 points, including going 4-for-9 from 3-points range, and grabbed 13 rebounds. Rookie forward Anthony Davis added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Hornets led by 10 points with 6:52 to go and appeared to have righted the ship. But Portland kept the pressure thanks to Wesley Matthews, who finished with 24 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter alone.

Portland shot 48.7 percent, including 44 percent from 3-point range. But the Blazers turned the ball over 11 times and had only six offensive rebounds.

New Orleans, meanwhile, nearly matched the Blazers from the floor, shooting 46.5 percent.

Vasquez finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Lillard had 20 points and eight assists for Portland and J.J. Hickson added 14 points and 14 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "We were aggressive and we got great outcomes because of it and we moved the ball. We were unselfish at the end and that's why we won."
--The Hornets' Anderson.

THE STAT: 48, 23 -- That's the Hornets rebounds and second-chance points, respectively. New Orleans outrebounded the Blazers by 18, including 19-6 on the offensive glass. That helped the Hornets to the 23 second-chance points, a big difference in New Orleans' win.

TURNING POINT: The Hornets had been burned earlier in the week when coach Monty Williams decided not to play Davis in the fourth quarter of New Orleans' loss to the Lakers. This time he was in and his energy helped save the Hornets from collapse. After Portland's Nicolas Batum sank a 22-footer to give the Blazers a 93-92 lead, the Hornets came down only to have Vasquez miss a shot. Davis, however, chased the loose ball and saved it. Seconds later, Anderson hit a 3-pointer for the lead.

QUOTABLE II: "When 3-point shooters get hot, they create problems. Ryan Anderson got hot and he spaces the floor for them really well."
-- Blazers coach Terry Stotts, on Anderson's impact on the game.

NOTABLE: The Hornets' Roberts had a career-high nine assists in his first-ever start. ... Sunday marked the first time someone other than Vasquez led the Hornets in assists. ... All five Portland starters scored in double figures. ... New Orleans' bench outscored Portland's 45-11.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Tuesday @ Brooklyn, Friday @ Washington, Saturday @ Minnesota. For the Trail Blazers, Tuesday vs. Memphis, Thursday vs. New York, Saturday vs. Detroit.