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Balanced attack leads Hornets past Blazers

Nov 27, 2010 - 6:28 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Willie Green led New Orleans, which had five players in double digits, with 19 points as the Hornets easily cruised past a struggling Portland team, 97-78, at Rose Garden.

Trevor Ariza followed up with 18 points and seven rebounds for New Orleans, which snapped its first two-game losing streak of the season. Chris Paul had 16 points and 13 assists, while Marco Belinelli and David West each put up 14 points for the victors.

Brandon Roy dropped 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting in his first game back after missing three games with a knee injury. LaMarcus Aldridge was the only other Blazer to reach double digit points with 14, while Portland continues to slide by losing four of its last six games.

It was a one-point game with 5:18 left to play in the third, but Belinelli hit a three-pointer, and after an Aldridge turnover, Ariza made a layup to put the Hornets up 68-62.

New Orleans built a 12-point edge with 1:32 left in the third thanks to a driving Ariza layup, and the team went into the final quarter up 75-65.

The lead was kept at arms length during the final 12 minutes. The closest Portland got was when Roy made it a seven-point game, 79-72, with 8:18 remaining with a mid-range jumper. The Hornets pushed the lead into double digits again with a six-point spurt after Paul made back-to-back buckets with a little less than 4 1/2 minutes to play.

The Hornets finished out the game with a 12-3 run. West drilled a three- pointer with 10 seconds remaining, which gave them a 19-point cushion -- their biggest lead of the game.

The game was knotted up twice during the game's first 4 1/2 minutes, however, the Blazers took a nine-point lead, 29-20, with 1:49 left to play on Wesley Matthew's 1-for-2 showing at the charity stripe.

Portland came into the second period with a 33-26 margin, but they went cold the final seven minutes of the half, allowing the Hornets to score 17 of the final 20 points. Ariza tied and took the lead on two free throws with 3:28 remaining. He then hit a three pointer with 1 1/2 minutes left as the Hornets carried 54-48 lead heading into the break.

Game Notes

The Hornets shot 57.1 percent from the three-point line, making 8-of 14 shots...New Orleans scored 15 second chance points and tallied 48 rebounds to the Blazer's two second chance points and 27 rebounds...The Blazers shot just 39.5 percent from the field (30-of-76).