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Pargo turns it on in fourth to power Hornets past Blazers

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jannero Pargo was the Hornets' closer.

Pargo scored 12 consecutive points in the fourth quarter for New Orleans and David West had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help the Hornets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 103-91 on Monday night.

"We had a great team effort throughout the whole game. I just came in in the fourth quarter and I just got into a great rhythm," said Pargo, the backup point guard who finished with 16 points. "I had a lot of open looks and I knocked them down."

After Juan Dixon's three-point play brought the Blazers to 76-74, New Orleans came back with a 10-2 run that Bobby Jackson capped by hitting a 3-pointer from the right side and a jumper from the foul line.

Pargo scored New Orleans' next 12 points, including a difficult driving layup that stretched the Hornets' lead to 96-83. On the play, he reached behind his head with the ball and then banked it in off the glass.

"He just got hot. That's part of the NBA," Portland forward Zach Randolph said. "All players can do that if they get hot."

Dixon had a four-point play off a made 3-pointer in the left corner and Randolph scored a third-chance layup off back-to-back offensive rebounds to get Portland to 96-89, but Pargo answered with a jumper from the left wing and Desmond Mason converted a three-point play off a fast-break layup to restore the lead to 12.

Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 16 rebounds for his seventh double-double in the past 11 games. Mason scored 16 points, Rasual Butler had 15 and Devin Brown 12. The Hornets started their current five-game homestand with three straight victories and have won their last six at home overall.

"We're going into games right now feeling like we can win and knowing that we can win. We're going out there and we're playing like that," Pargo said. "It's just giving us a little bit of an edge, a little bit of a chip on our shoulder just to go out and play well."

Pargo scored a season-high 25 points in New Orleans' 84-78 win against Orlando on Jan. 16, but he started playing a smaller role after Jackson returned from a rib injury in the Hornets' next game. He'd averaged only seven points in his last six games and hadn't scored more than six in his previous four outings.

"I think I had been a little bit more passive since Bobby got back. I was just playing less minutes," Pargo said. "But tonight I came out trying to be more aggressive and whatever happens, happens."

Randolph, who had a career-high 42 points in Portland's double-overtime win at Memphis a night earlier, led the Blazers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Rookie Brandon Roy added 19 points, Dixon had 15 and Ime Udoka 14.

"It just seemed like they had more energy than we did," Roy said. "They played like they were fresh and they beat us to every loose ball. They outrebounded us and they outscrapped us.

"We are not good enough to just win off of talent. We have to outwork teams, and tonight we didn't do that."

The Blazers trailed most of the game after allowing a 13-0 run early in the first quarter, but took their first lead since the opening minutes when Udoka hit a 3-pointer that put Portland ahead 53-52 early in the second half.

New Orleans responded by scoring six points in a row, highlighted by West's right-handed, fast-break dunk, to make it 60-55. The advantage reached eight at 70-62 when West got the rebound on Chandler's missed alley-oop dunk and put it back in.

Game notes
Portland rookie LaMarcus Aldridge missed the game because of the flu. ... Hornets coach Byron Scott said his early vote for rookie of the year would go to either Charlotte's Adam Morrison or Roy. ... Chandler has 10 total double-doubles this season. ... The Hornets' longest home winning streak last season was seven games.