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Roy, Blazers extend winning streak to eight games

Dec 18, 2007 - 7:07 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers once again were the last ones standing tall.

Roy collected 24 points and eight assists as the red-hot Blazers pushed their winning streak to a season-high eight games with an 88-76 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night.

Named the Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time in a row, Roy connected on 10-of-17 shots, including 2-of-4 3-pointers, en route to his seventh 20-point outing this month.

"I'm excited about it but more for the team and the organization," Roy said. "It means that as a team we are making improvements and strides to get better."

Martell Webster poured in 13 points and Steve Blake added 10 for the Blazers, who tied their longest winning streak since the 2002-03 campaign.

"Hey, this is a lot of fun," said Blazers reserve Raif LaFrentz, who collected a season-high 11 rebounds. "Eight wins in a row. We did it in a lot of different ways. We played defense the right way and Brandon was Brandon."

"I know the Utah and Denver wins were big, but this was a really big win for us," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "In those other games the offense was clicking but tonight we had to keep working and they wouldn't give in."

The win also secured Portland's first winning month since November 2004.

"We still got five more home games this month so we have a chance to expand on that a little bit," Roy said. "We are just approaching this with the mentality that we should win every night. It means that this is my first winning month and that this team is going in the right direction. We are showing that we are a deep team."

Tyson Chandler tipped in Bobby Jackson's missed 3-pointer and Chris Paul hit a runner in the lane to tie the game at 66-66 at the 10:11 mark in the fourth quarter.

But the Trail Blazers took the lead for good behind a 10-0 run that was highlighted by Roy's amazing catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the left corner right before the shot clock sounded.

"I was looking at James (Jones) and I was thinking please don't give me this last second shot," Roy said. "I caught it on my fingertips and just threw it to the rim. I felt like it hurt them because when you make a lucky shot like that it can make you put your head down. I think we kinda put the pedal to the metal after that."

"We had lost our composure a little bit up to that point and when someone hits a shot like that, it's kind of a backbreaker," Hornets forward David West said. "We then started playing at their pace and let them do what they wanted and we continued to struggle to figure out what we were trying to get done."

Chandler's two-handed tip dunk sliced the deficit to 78-71 with 2:56 remaining, but the Trail Blazers got critical baskets from Roy and Channing Frye down the stretch.

"They're a different team over there," Chandler said. "Coach (McMillan) has got them playing great. They got a lot of young talent and they play really hard and together. If you play that way in this league, you can win some games that maybe you shouldn't. That's what they are doing and that's a testament to the coach."

West scored 21 points and Chandler grabbed 19 rebounds, with eight of those coming on the offensive side for the Hornets, who shot 40 percent (31-of-76) from the field.

"If we just made a few shots we win the game," said Hornets guard Chris Paul, who scored just 11 points after averaging 29 over his past five games. "That's all it was. We did what we wanted to do defensively but we just couldn't make shots."

"We did enough defensively to win the game but offensively, we created some looks but unfortunately didn't make them," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "We just couldn't bring it home."

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