New Orleans, LA (Best E Casino) - Jamal Crawford dropped a game-high 31 points and added a game-high eight assists off the bench, and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away from the New Orleans Hornets
, 94-86, on Friday.
Raymond Felton added 18 points, while Gerald Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge each contributed 14 for the Blazers, who stopped a two-game skid.
Trevor Ariza led the Hornets with 23 points and nine rebounds. Emeka Okafor netted 13, while Al-Farouq Aminu and Marco Belinelli each scored 12 as New Orleans lost its eighth straight game.
"When I look at this game, I see guys who fought, who competed, who were put in a tough situation and battled all night," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "Right now, I'm proud to be around a group of guys who fight no matter what the situation."
After leading throughout most of the second and third quarters, the Hornets fell behind, 66-64, on a Wallace layup with 1:11 to go in the third.
Portland led, 70-67, after three and built a lead as large as six in the opening minutes of the fourth. But Belinelli sank a three-pointer, pulled down a rebound and handed off an assist in a period of two minutes to put the home team back up, 78-77, midway through the fourth quarter.
The teams traded baskets for the ensuing two minutes before a three-point play by Ariza had the game tied at 81 with 4:11 to play. Just as the game looked headed for a photo finish, however, the Blazers embarked on an 11-3 run to put the Hornets away.
"Sometimes it's not about how you win, but the fact that you win," Portland head coach Nate McMillan said. "New Orleans played hard and they scrapped and played a good game. We did the things we needed to do down the stretch."
A tight first quarter had Portland ahead 21-19 after one. Ariza picked up 11 of his points in the second quarter as he helped New Orleans to a 46-42 halftime edge.
New Orleans starting guard Jarrett Jack did not play with soreness in his left knee...New Orleans held a 37-33 advantage on the glass and outscored Portland in the paint, 54-30.