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Hornets 98, Trail Blazers 96

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NEW ORLEANS - Ryan Anderson took a shovel pass from Greivis Vasquez in the lane and made a layup that he turned into a three-point play with 1.8 seconds left to lift the New Orleans Hornets to a 98-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday at the New Orleans Arena.

In beating the Blazers for the second time at home in a month, the Hornets (22-42) snapped a three-game losing streak and dealt the Blazers' playoffs hope a blow, especially considering Portland was coming off a 30-point road victory over San Antonio on Friday night.

Wesley Matthews' 3-point attempt from the right baseline was no good as time expired. Matthews led the Blazers with 24 points, and Damian Lillard had 20. Lillard's 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left had put Portland up, 96-95.

Anderson led the Hornets with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Vasquez had 20 points and five assists. Anthony Davis added 18 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans.

Leading 78-75, the Hornets hit three consecutive 3-pointers - by Darius Miller, Anderson and Vasquez - to take an 87-77 lead with 6:54 left. Still, no lead was safe, considering they had blown leads of 25 points to the Lakers and 17 points to the Magic in their last two home games.

The Blazers came right back, with Lillard nailing a 15-foot jumper and then a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Matthews made it 87-85 with 4:48 left with a 3-pointer from the right baseline.

After Brian Roberts and Matthews traded 3-pointers, Matthews made another long-range jumper from the right baseline to put Portland up, 91-90, with 2:37 left.

Davis tipped in a missed layup attempt by Vasquez, putting the Hornets back up, 92-91, with 2:09 left. Then Nicolas Batum hit a 20-footer from the right wing to put the Blazers back on top, 93-92 with 1:15 remaining.

Davis got a crucial offensive rebound of a missed layup by Vasquez and that led to a 3-pointer by Anderson that gave New Orleans the lead with 15 seconds to go.

After Lillard's 3-pointer restored the lead for Portland, Anderson hit his layup and added two free throws fter being fouled by Jared Jeffries.

Portland erased a nine-point deficit with a 21-12 spurt to open the third quarter to tie the game, 65-65. Lillard did most of the damage by penetrating past Vasquez for three inside baskets. The Hornets regained the lead, 76-69, at the end of the third quarter with an 11-2 run of their own.

The Hornets used a 20-3 run spanning five minutes of the first and second quarters to turn a 22-13 deficit into a 33-25 lead. They did it despite early foul trouble by Davis, who picked up his second foul with 5:15 left in the first quarter.

But Davis returned and scored 12 first-half points, getting a pair of dunks off feeds from Roberts and adding another dunk on a nifty inside pass Ryan Anderson. Vasquez and Anderson both scored 11 first-half points, and Anderson grabbed eight rebounds.

The Blazers got 10 first-half points from both LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson.

Roger Mason's second 3-pointer of the first half, with just 13.3 seconds left, gave New Orleans a 53-44 lead at intermission. The Hornets outrebounded the Blazers 28-17 in the first half.

NOTES: After Davis scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a 96-85 road loss to Memphis Saturday night, Hornets coach Monty Williams was asked if the NBA's top pick had extra incentive after being held out of the fourth quarter of a 108-102 loss to the Lakers, a game in which the Hornets blew a 25-point lead at home. "I don't think he's like that," Williams said. "I just think he wants to play well every time he goes out there. But it's hard, it's the NBA." Williams said he has urged Davis to use his speed and energy to evade bigger power forwards. ... Williams said guard Eric Gordon probably would be rested on the back end of consecutive games for the remainder of the season because the Hornets want to make sure they do not put too much stress on his right knee. "I would imagine (the doctors) feel like this is going to help him have a great summer and have a bang-out year next year," Williams said. ... Center Meyers Leonard, who had averaged 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in three games before hurting his left ankle, did not play for Portland. Blazers coach Terry Stoats said rookie sensation Lillard has been a marvel of consistency. "He came into the league in November and made a splash, and he's become the focal point of a lot of teams' defenses and schemes, and teams have tried to take him out of the game," Stotts said. "He's been patient. He's learned the NBA game. He's taken things in stride."
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