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Trail Blazers snap losing streak in New Orleans

  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    The Trail Blazers 27-point third quarter turned a two-point halftime advantage into a double-digit fourth quarter lead as they held on to defeat the Hornets 84-77 at New Orleans arena Monday.

    The win was the Trail Blazers first on their current road trip and snapped a three-game overall losing streak.

    "We needed a win and we’ll take it," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "We know we can play better and we know we’ll have to play better, but we’re happy with the win."

    Leading the way for the Trail Blazers in the third quarter was LaMarcus Aldridge, who turned around a 1-for-7 shooting start by going 9-of-10 the rest of the way to finish with a game-high 22 points.

    Aldridge also finished with nine rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist on the day he was named one of 20 finalists for the USA Basketball 2012 Olympics roster.

    Raymond Felton assisted on a Jamal Crawford three-pointer that put the Trail Blazers up 79-65 with 3:57 left to play, but a 12-5 New Orleans run to finish the game closed the gap for the final margin.

    Felton finished with a game-high 12 assists but scored just two points on 1-of-8 shooting while turning the ball over eight times. Crawford scored five points on 2-of-8 shooting and notched seven assists while turning the ball over four times as the two guards combined for 12 of the teams 17 turnovers while shooting 18.75 percent from the field.

    "It’s still a new group and they’re trying to work out the kinks. That’s why it’s a work in progress,"  Crawford said. "There will be good moments and bad moments, we just have to continue to chip away at it."

    Portland (8-5) got another big performance from Nicolas Batum off the bench with 19 points and six rebounds in a game in which only eight Trail Blazers saw the floor.

    Gerald Wallace added 14 points and seven rebounds and Kurt Thomas scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting while pulling down seven rebounds in his second start at center since taking over for the injured Marcus Camby.

    New Orleans (3-10) was led by former Trail Blazer Jarrett Jack with 21 points, followed by Emeka Okafor and Chris Kaman with 12 points each. Okafor logged the games only double-double, his fourth of the season, by grabbing 10 rebounds.

    The Hornets turned the ball over 19 times leading to 23 Trail Blazers points and were 0-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc while shooting just 41.2 percent from the field.

    "I have to do some things better. I’ve got to put guys in a position to succeed. I’ve got to get guys out of the game that aren’t playing. I have to coach better," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "Obviously, if you said that you could hold the Portland Trailblazers to 84 points, you would take that, but we only scored 77 points. That is something that I have to try to figure out."

    Portland will travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks Wednesday, 5 p.m., on Comcast SportsNet and 750 AM The Game. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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