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Lillard, Blazers edge Pelicans
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Damian Lillard dropped 13 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 110-107 decision over the New Orleans Pelicans from Moda Center.
The Blazers led 101-93 midway through the fourth before Anthony Morrow's 3 sparked a 10-0 New Orleans charge to put the visitors in front.
After Lillard's triple helped Portland regain the lead at 106-105, Tyreke Evans had two point-blank shots rim out, and Wesley Matthews finished a lefty layup on the other end.
Evans redeemed himself with a driving layup with 20 seconds remaining, but Nicolas Batum drained a pair of free throws with 12.4 ticks left as the Blazers regained a three-point edge.
Ryan Anderson and Evans each missed potential game-tying treys in the closing seconds as Portland held on for its sixth win in seven games.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Matthews netted 18 points apiece in the win, while Batum filled the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Evans and Anthony Davis each scored 21 points to lead New Orleans, which fell to 0-4 on its current five-game road trip. The swing comes to an end in Sacramento on Monday.
The loss spoiled the season debut for big man Alexis Ajinca, who signed with New Orleans earlier in the week. Ajinca totaled four points with 11 rebounds in just under 17 minutes on the floor. The 25-year old was drafted 20th overall by the Bobcats in 2008 and spent three seasons with Charlotte, Dallas and Toronto before returning to his native France.
The Pelicans led 26-21 after the first period but lost the lead in the second only to have Davis' putback dunk give them a 53-52 edge at intermission.
Robin Lopez grabbed an offensive rebound after Lillard missed a 3 to open the second half and finished a layup to put Portland ahead. The Blazers led for the duration of the third quarter, extending the lead to as many as 10 on Aldridge's dunk 4:40 in.
Eric Gordon and Anderson scored 18 points apiece in the setback, while Jrue Holiday had 13 points and seven assists ... The Pelicans' reserves outscored their counterparts, 32-20 ... New Orleans outscored Portland 56-42 in the paint.
12/22 01:01:06 ET
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