Final Score: Portland 113, New Orleans 110
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.
"It wasn't the cleanest look," said Anderson. "That last play we drew up was a
great play and I think the timing was a little bit off. I was comfortable
taking that shot and I felt like it was going in, but it didn't."
Aldridge and Matthews netted 18 points apiece in the win, while Batum filled
the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
"We're learning that if we get stops down the stretch and we take care of the
ball, we can win games," said Portland big man LaMarcus Aldridge.
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
12/22 02:13:45 ET
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