PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 9 (Ticker) --
Rookie J.R. Smith scored 19 points
and blocked two shots as the New Orleans Hornets ended a
six-game losing streak with a 91-80 victory over the Portland
Two of the Hornets' league-low nine wins have come at the
expense of the Trail Blazers, who dropped a 112-106 contest in
New Orleans on January 14.
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Smith sparked a 12-2 run to start the second period with five
points as New Orleans took the lead for good at 31-21. After
Portland trimmed the deficit with an 11-2 surge, Zach Randolph -
who scored just four points - picked up the first of three
technical fouls by Portland.
That triggered an 11-0 spurt by the Hornets over the final 4:07
of the first half that gave New Orleans a 45-32 lead.
Ruben Patterson added to Portland's woes by getting ejected at
halftime for kicking the ball in to the stands.
The Trail Blazers got as close as 71-66 with 9:48 to go before
Smith scored four points during a 12-4 run. The spurt was
capped at 83-70 with 6:57 left on a 3-pointer by Bostjan
Nachbar, who scored 13 points off the bench.
A native of nearby Battle Ground, Washington who attended
Gonzaga, Dan Dickau scored 17 points for the Hornets.
Damon Stoudamire scored 30 points for Portland, which had their
season-high three-game winning streak stopped. Stoudamire
scored a franchise-record 54 points in the last meeting.