Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/21

Game 1: Saturday, December 21st
Pelicans107Final
Trail Blazers110
Game 2: Monday, December 30th
Trail Blazers108Final
Pelicans110
Game 3: Friday, March 14th
Trail Blazers111Final
Pelicans103
Game 4: Sunday, April 6th
Pelicans94Final
Trail Blazers100

Trail Blazers 108

(24-7, 12-4 away)

Pelicans 110

(14-15, 9-5 home)

    Coverage: Fox Sports New Orleans

    8:00 PM ET, December 30, 2013

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 21 28 33 26108
    NO 26 30 33 21110

    Top Performers

    Por: D. Lillard 29 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    NO: J. Holiday 31 Pts, 7 Reb, 13 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Trail Blazers-Pelicans Preview

    STATS LLC

    When the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans met earlier this month, it was the late-game heroics of Damian Lillard that led Portland to a three-point victory.

    After a quiet couple of games since and with Portland trying to bounce back from a last-second loss, Lillard and the Blazers will meet the Pelicans in New Orleans on Monday night.

    Lillard scored 29 points -- 13 in the fourth quarter -- and had five assists when the Pelicans visited Portland on Dec. 21, helping the Trail Blazers to a 110-107 victory.

    Lillard has struggled in his last two games, shooting 4 for 12 in a 116-112 overtime win against the Clippers on Thursday, then being held to 16 points -- just one after the half -- as Portland (24-6) fell 108-107 to the LeBron James-less Heat on Saturday on Chris Bosh's 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left.

    "We made a lot of mistakes," Lillard said after finishing with four of the Trail Blazers' 19 turnovers. "It was kind of a lesson that all of those things came back to bite us. But you can't win them all. We've won so many of them and tonight we almost had another one."

    Defense, already hardly Portland's strong suit, has been an even bigger issue of late. The Trail Blazers are allowing 111.8 points per game over their last four -- 10.6 higher than what they'd allowed on average in their 22-4 start.

    Lillard placed direct blame on the defense for the loss to Miami.

    "We had a decision to make if we wanted to start to play better defense and try to take over the game and we didn't do that," he said.

    The Pelicans (13-15) have the offense to take advantage of Portland's defensive woes, though they'll almost certainly be without one of their top scorers. Eric Gordon, who scored 18 points in the first meeting against the Blazers, has missed the last two games because of a right hip contusion and there is no timetable for his return.

    Still, New Orleans has averaged 105.8 points over its past four games, though it was a leaky defense that cost it Saturday in Houston. The Hornets were ahead by three with 3:58 left and were outscored 16-4 the rest of the way in a 107-98 loss.

    "Those are the games where you're watching and you can't blame that on youth. That's basketball," coach Monty Williams said. "To give up some of the buckets we gave up down the stretch was tough because coming off a back-to-back and playing against a team like that, you were feeling like we had a chance to win the game.

    "You look at some of your mistakes and it just sticks with you for a while."

    The Pelicans have averaged 106.7 points in winning three straight at home, and held the Blazers to 79.5 points per game while taking both meetings in New Orleans last season.

    LaMarcus Aldridge totaled just 22 points on 8 of 25 shooting and nine rebounds in those losses while Anthony Davis totaled 39 points and 21 boards.

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    Research Notes

    The Pelicans' 68 points in the paint tonight vs the Blazers is the 2nd most in a game by a Western Conference team this season and T-5th most by any team. Entering tonight, the Blazers were allowing the most points in the paint per game this season (48.6). The Pelicans had 40 in the first half alone.
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