Randolph, Miles Help Blazers End Skid
Portland 91, Charlotte 83
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 13 (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph and the Portland Trail Blazers took out their frustration on the Charlotte Bobcats.
Randolph scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and Darius Miles added 14 points in his first game in more than two months as the Trail Blazers pulled away for a 91-83 victory over the Bobcats.
"I don't want to take anything away from Portland because they did what they had to," said Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff, whose team shot only 40 percent (27-of-67) and committed 21 turnovers. "But that was an awful performance. We should collectively be embarrassed."
The Trail Blazers were able to get back on track Monday, thanks to the efforts of Randolph, who had averaged just 12 points over the last two games and was shooting at a 39 percent (16-of-41) clip over his previous three contests.
"We had to bounce back and play good," Randolph said. "We came out and played hard and wanted to get one and that's what we did."
With Portland clinging to a 75-72 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Miles and Sebastian Telfair drilled jumpers around a free throw by Charlotte's Brevin Knight to create a six-point lead.
"I think I gave everybody a good burst of energy after these losses," said Miles, the team's second-leading scorer at 17.9 points per game. "I was kind of tired in the fourth quarter, but that second wind kicked in and I was fine."
Telfair found Miles for a dunk - one of three in the quarter for the Blazers - shortly thereafter before Randolph scored six straight points, capped by his three-point play with 2:21 left to extend the cushion to 87-76.
"It took us a couple of games to get here, but we don't go home empty-handed," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "The Bobcats have been playing good basketball lately, but we knew we needed a W - and we found a way tonight."
Randolph, who threw down a thunderous dunk earlier in the quarter, sealed the win with two free throws with 25 seconds remaining. He finished 8-of-18 from the field, making all three of his shots in the final period.
"We buckled down in the fourth," Randolph said. "We made big shots and got some key defensive stops."
Portland connected on 11-of-19 shots in the final quarter compared to just 7-of-19 for Charlotte. The Blazers also forced five turnovers in the final 12 minutes, which they converted into nine points.
"Defensively, we executed the game plan as far as being aggressive and defending the ball," McMillan said. "We came out, we scrapped and we won this game."
Miles, who had not played since Dec. 3 following right knee surgery, made 7-of-13 shots from the floor, adding nine rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes.
"What I was hoping for by bringing him in would be that these guys would be excited to see him and get a lift," McMillan said. "I thought he came in and did some pretty good things. He made some nice shots, we ran a couple of pick-and-roll sets with him, and he was able to knock down some shots."
"He's a big spark to this team," Randolph said. "He's a big impact and one of our top players. With him coming back, it's going to make this team a lot better."
Charlotte was led by rookie Raymond Felton's 16 points. Bernard Robinson, Primoz Brezec and Knight added 14 apiece for the Bobcats, who have dropped three straight since a franchise-record three-game winning streak.
"Portland came in here after their last three games by losing an average of 30 points," Knight said. "That's not a knock on Portland, but that was the rut that they were in. We should have kept them in that rut. The effort that we put forth can not be tolerated at any level. There is no excuse to how we played this evening."