NBA: Blazers continue home dominance of Hornets
Jerami Grant recorded 32 points and 10 rebounds, Jusuf Nurkic scored a season-high 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers continued their home domination of the Charlotte Hornets with a 124-113 victory on Monday night.
Nurkic made a career-best five 3-pointers (in seven attempts) and Grant made four as Portland ended a three-game slide.
LaMelo Ball registered 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists before fouling out for the Hornets, who lost for the 10th time in the past 12 games. P.J. Washington added 22 points and joined Ball in making four 3-pointers.
The setback was Charlotte’s 15th in a row in Portland dating back to a 93-85 victory on March 29, 2008, when the franchise was known as the Bobcats.
Anfernee Simons scored 18 points, Damian Lillard added 17 points and nine assists and Josh Hart had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers. Lillard was just 5 of 18 from the field and Portland shot 50 percent, including 14 of 38 from 3-point range.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 15 points, Mason Plumlee added 14 and Gordon Hayward had 10 for the Hornets, who connected on 40.2 percent of their shots and were 12 of 36 from behind the arc.
Portland recovered from a 14-point deficit in the second quarter and put 40 points on the board in the third to take a six-point advantage into the final stanza.
The Trail Blazers scored 11 of the first 14 points of the third quarter to take a 72-70 lead on Hart’s basket with 9:14 remaining.
Later in the period, Nurkic scored on a dunk and a 3-pointer and Hart added a dunk to make it 90-81 with 3:26 remaining. Lillard’s first 3-pointer of the contest made it 93-83 with 2:54 left.
Drew Eubanks connected from 3-point range to give the Trail Blazers a 100-87 lead with 1:30 left. But Ball hit two treys during an 8-1 closing run as Charlotte trailed 101-95 entering the fourth.
Nurkic’s fourth 3-pointer of the game gave Portland a 108-99 lead with 8:55 left. His fifth trey came with 3:04 remaining and Lillard followed with a jumper 32 seconds later to make it 121-106 as the Trail Blazers closed it out.
Washington scored 13 first-half points as the Hornets led 67-61 at the break.
Charlotte led 65-51 on Hayward’s 18-footer with 2:16 remaining in the first half. Portland finished with a 10-2 burst to start its comeback.
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