Webster, Jack help Blazers beat Hornets in home openerNov 8, 2007 - 7:12 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) - Maybe some home cooking was all that the Portland Trail Blazers needed.
Martell Webster and Jarrett Jack scored 20 points each to lift the Trail Blazers to their first win of the season, a 93-90 triumph over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.
After three straight road losses, the Blazers gave their fans something to cheer about in the first home game of the 2007-08 campaign with injured No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden watching on the sidelines.
"To get that first 'W,' especially in front of the home fans in the home opener against an undefeated team, felt real good," Jack said. "It's just something that he hopes can carry over."
The setback was the first of the season for New Orleans, making the Los Angeles Clippers the last undefeated Western Conference team.
"I didn't think we'd go 82-0," Hornets guard Chris Paul said. "It was nice to be 4-0, but now we realize we can lose. It's a game of emotions and, at the end, they got the best of us."
A third-year guard, Webster has gotten off to an impressive start, finishing in double figures for the fourth consecutive game. He averaged just 7.0 points last season.
"Martell is showing us what we wanted and waited for the last two years," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "We went to him three or four times in a row and he delivered for us each time."
Tyson Chandler's three-point play gave the Hornets a 60-56 edge with 8:14 remaining in the third quarter. The 7-1 big man was ejected later in the period.
"It really hurt not having Tyson out there," said Paul, who had 18 points and 12 assists. "He's one of the guys that makes this team go. He let his emotions get the best of him. Hopefully, he will learn because this year is all about no excuses."
"Tyson lost his cool," Hornets forward David West said. "I told him that he can't do that. That's not a smart play for us at that point of the game."
However, the Blazers stormed ahead for good behind the efforts of Webster, who poured in 10 points during a game-changing 14-0 run for a 72-60 advantage at the 3:35 mark.
"Martell has been great for us, man," Portland guard Brandon Roy said. "He came out aggressive and got in a nice rhythm early. He's been doing that all season so far and he was the difference for us."
The Hornets closed within 81-77 when Paul found West for an 18-footer to cap an 11-0 burst with 3:47 remaining in the decisive quarter.
But Roy, whose the reigning Rookie of the Year, kept New Orleans at bay - scoring seven of Portland's final 11 points.
Roy collected 17 points and seven assists and LaMarcus Aldridge had 12 and eight rebounds for Portland, which plays the next three games at home.
"We just came out really nasty, and we wanted to play with some intensity and just come after it," Roy said. "That's what we are going to have to do all year is just play nasty. I think if we approach games like that, we will be tough to beat."
West had a career high-tying 34 points and 18 boards.
"It's a shame we wasted such a great effort by David," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "They were more physical, more aggressive. I thought they played harder than we did."
NEW ORLEANS 90
PORTLAND 93 FINAL
Nov 8 12:54 AM
NEW ORLEANS 64
PORTLAND 76 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 8 12:21 AM
NEW ORLEANS 49
PORTLAND 44 HALFTIME
Nov 7 11:40 PM
NEW ORLEANS 23
PORTLAND 26 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 7 11:08 PM
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