Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/16

Game 1: Monday, January 16th
Trail Blazers84Final
Game 2: Friday, February 10th
Trail Blazers94Final
Game 3: Monday, March 5th
Trail Blazers86
Game 4: Thursday, March 29th
Trail Blazers99

Hornets 74

(9-29, 5-13 away)

Trail Blazers 86

(19-19, 14-7 home)

    Coverage: COX

    10:00 PM ET, March 5, 2012

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 17 21 10 2674
    POR 27 19 24 1686

    Top Performers

    NO: M. Belinelli 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast

    Por: M. Camby 6 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Trail Blazers handle Hornets to end losing streak 

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- A looming seven-game road trip clouded the Trail Blazers' relief that their three-game losing streak was over.

    "I think the guys know how big this road trip is for us," LaMarcus Aldridge said after Portland beat the New Orleans Hornets 86-74 on Monday night.

    Besides snapping a three-game slide, the victory got the Blazers back to .500, after they'd dropped below the mark with a discouraging 122-110 loss at home to the Timberwolves on Saturday night.

    The Blazers (19-19) open their 12-night trip with another game against Minnesota on Wednesday.

    "We build off this tonight," coach Nate McMillan said. "We know we've got a lot of work to do."

    Nicolas Batum had 19 points for the Blazers against the injury-riddled Hornets, who trailed by as many as 26 points.

    Aldridge, who had just two points and three rebounds in the first half, finished with 10 points and 11 boards -- but he did not play the entire fourth quarter. He did not get to the free throw line for the third straight game.

    The first-time All-Star this season said he lost his rhythm because he was double-teamed.

    "Teams are taking me out," he said. "I haven't had a clean post-up in three or four games."

    Marco Belinelli had 18 points for New Orleans, which has lost four of its past five games. At 9-29, the injury-depleted Hornets have the worst record in the Western Conference. Chris Kaman had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

    "Tonight was not a sign of what kind of team we are," Kaman said. "As rough of a season that we've had, this is not who we are, even at this point."

    The Blazers had dropped below .500 for the first time this season with the loss to the Timberwolves on Saturday. They had lost six of their past eight games at the Rose Garden.

    Searching for answers, McMillan again changed up his starting lineup, moving Raymond Felton back to the point and playing Jamal Crawford off the bench. Felton, who has struggled this season, finished with 11 points and 10 assists.

    "It helped. I'll say that," Felton said. "It makes you hungry. It brings that hunger out of you."

    The Hornets, who have been hampered by injuries all season, saw the return of starter Trevor Ariza, who missed the past two games because of an illness. He finished with four points.

    Carl Landry (sprained knee ligament) and Jason Smith (concussion) were both questionable going into the game, but did not play. New Orleans was still without Eric Gordon, who has a right knee contusion, and Emeka Okafor, who has a sore left knee.

    "Right now we just have to fight through it and play hard," Kaman said. "We just didn't have it tonight. It's going to happen, but it's tough."

    The Blazers jumped out to a 27-17 lead to start the second quarter, but the Hornets closed the gap to 27-24 after Xavier Henry's 19-foot jumper. Portland wouldn't let them get any closer and pulled away to a 34-24 lead on Batum's 3-pointer.

    The Blazers were able to stay in front and went to the half with a 46-38 lead.

    Sparked by Aldridge's putback dunk, a layup and a jumper, Portland pulled away in the third quarter, going on a 15-2 run to go ahead 65-45.

    The Hornets had just 10 points in the quarter to trail 70-48 going into the fourth quarter. It was their lowest point total for a quarter this season.

    Game notes

    The Blazers are 3-0 in the four-game series against the Hornets this season. It's the first time Portland has won three-straight against New Orleans since they won five straight from 1999 to 2002. ... Monday's game was the first of a four-game road trip for New Orleans. The Hornets visit Sacramento on Wednesday. ... Aldridge's point total was his lowest this season in a Blazers win.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 74 86
    FGM-FGA 29-70 (.414) 31-72 (.431)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 6-22 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 13-22 (.591) 18-24 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-37 8-43
    Assists 14 19
    Turnovers 16 12
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 5 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 26

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Marco Belinelli Belinelli
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Marcus Camby Camby
    Points: 6
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2