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Posted Jan 28 2007 7:00PM
Zach Randolph looks to build on the best game of his career and lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a season sweep of the New Orleans Hornets when the teams meet at Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Randolph scored a career-high 42 points and hit the winning 3-pointer with 38 seconds left in the second overtime to lift Portland to a 135-132 win at Memphis on Saturday. The power forward eclipsed his previous best of 37 points, set in a loss at Detroit on Dec. 20, 2005.
"I didn't have any idea how many shots I had taken," Randolph said after making 16 of 40 attempts - the most in franchise history. "They told me after the game, and I was like, 'What?' When you're in that zone, you don't think about it."
Randolph finished with 12 rebounds and scored 13 points in the overtimes to cap the stellar performance as the Blazers (19-26) overcame a 16-point second-half deficit for their third win in four tries.
"We won a hell of a game. A back-to-back, double overtime on the road," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "That's big."
The Blazers will close out their three-game road trip with their only visit to the Ford Center this season. They took the first two meetings of the season with New Orleans at home, winning the most recent contest 100-85 on Dec. 27.
Randolph led Portland with 26 points and 11 rebounds in that victory after getting 31 points and 12 boards in a 92-91 win over the Hornets on Nov. 10.
Randolph, though, struggled in Portland's only game at Oklahoma City last season, managing just 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting and seven rebounds in a 102-86 loss Feb. 15.
The Hornets (18-25) hope to replicate that result and remain unbeaten during a five-game, two-city homestand.
Bobby Jackson scored a season-high 21 points off the bench Saturday to help New Orleans defeat Utah 94-83. The win came a night after Desmond Mason had 24 points in an 88-84 victory over Sacramento at New Orleans Arena to start the extended homestand.
It was only the second time in 11 attempts this season the Hornets were able to win in consecutive days, the first coming on Nov. 14 and 15, which started one of two season-high four-game winning streaks.
"We've got to come out night in and night out and give great efforts like this," Hornets forward Tyson Chandler said after the victory over the Jazz.
New Orleans appears to be making strides to do that and turn its season around, going 6-3 since a 4-19 stretch during which four key players were out with injuries, including Jackson.
Two of those players are still sidelined, with the team missing its starting backcourt tandem of Chris Paul (sprained right ankle) and Peja Stojakovic (back surgery). Paul might be closer to returning than Stojakovic, as he's expected to start practicing Tuesday.
Hornets coach Byron Scott has used Rasual Butler and Devin Brown in their place over the past eight games. The duo is averaging 28.6 points in that span.
David West has stumbled in his last three games, totaling 25 points and 21 rebounds. The power forward had 68 points and 34 rebounds in the previous three contests after returning from right elbow surgery that caused him to miss 30 games.
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