Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Friday, November 13th
Trail Blazers86Final
Game 2: Monday, January 25th
Trail Blazers97
Game 3: Saturday, March 27th
Trail Blazers112Final

Hornets 98

(24-20, 8-16 away)

Trail Blazers 97

(27-19, 16-8 home)

    Coverage: COX

    10:00 PM ET, January 25, 2010

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 31 16 25 2698
    POR 23 26 24 2497

    Top Performers

    NO: C. Paul 24 Pts, 7 Reb, 12 Ast, 5 Stl

    Por: J. Howard 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Paul's catch-and-shoot in final seconds puts Blazers away

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Just another night for Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets.

    Paul made a 15-footer with 3.8 seconds remaining to lift New Orleans to a 98-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. The Hornets outscored the Blazers 10-1 during the game's final 3:06.

    New Orleans rallied from a deficit of 11 points or more to win an NBA-leading six times this season.

    "We're used to this. We do this night in and night out. We don't do any blowouts. We don't believe in them," said Paul, who led New Orleans with 24 points and 12 assists. "Our core has been around each other for a while, so when we get in close games, we don't get rattled."

    New Orleans didn't allow Portland to score a field goal during the final 3:51, but hit plenty of shots of its own to complete the comeback. Reserve guard Darren Collison hit a 3-pointer, then canned a 15-foot jumper to tie it at 96 with 2 minutes remaining.

    Portland's Andre Miller gave the Blazers their last lead by hitting one of two foul shots with 1:42 left, but both teams went scoreless until Paul hit the game winner.

    Paul, who had fallen near the free throw line, thought teammate David West would take the shot. Instead, West, who was double teamed, passed to a wide-open Paul, and he buried the uncontested shot.

    "D-West has hit that shot time and time again, so I assumed he shot it, but when I got up he threw it to me, and I knew I had to shoot it," Paul said.

    Earlier in the day, New Orleans got a bit of a facelift when the Hornets traded shooting guard Devin Brown to the Chicago Bulls for backup 7-foot center Aaron Gray.

    New Orleans coach Jeff Bower said the move to obtain the 25-year-old Gray, who is averaging 2.3 points a game, "is an opportunity to add a tough player who adds something different to our front line."

    Bower said that by trading Brown, the Hornets are able to give rookie guards Collison and Marcus Thornton increased playing time.

    In his first start of the season, Thornton hit 8-of-12 shots and scored 19 points in 38 minutes.

    "He's a guy with a lot of confidence that doesn't back down, so he's going to be just fine," West said of Thornton.

    Also scoring in double digits for New Orleans were West with 18 points, and Emeka Okafor with 14.

    For Portland, Juwan Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge shared scoring honors with 16 points. Howard's 16 tied a season high. Martell Webster hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points, while Jerryd Bayless and Rudy Fernandez had 12 points each.

    Early on, Portland found itself in a hole. The Trail Blazers trailed 24-8 seven minutes into the first quarter, but rallied to take a 42-41 lead by the middle of the second quarter. Portland led throughout most of the second half, and by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter before misfiring during the final minutes.

    The Trail Blazers had a chance to win the game, but Bayless missed a 16-footer at the buzzer.

    "This is tough to lose a game like this, especially on your floor," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.

    Game notes

    Portland small forward Nicolas Batum made his season debut after missing the first 45 games recovering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Batum was treated to a standing ovation when he entered the game at the start of the second quarter. Batum, who started 76 games and averaged 5.4 points as a rookie last season, hit 3-of-5 shots and scored six points in 10 minutes of action. Thornton received a flagrant foul for an elbow to Fernandez's chin during the fourth quarter. "Rudy being Rudy, he flopped and whatever. The refs were on their side the whole game so I guess they called a flagrant," Thornton said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 97
    FGM-FGA 35-68 (.515) 40-84 (.476)
    3PM-3PA 9-19 (.474) 8-17 (.471)
    FTM-FTA 19-22 (.864) 9-13 (.692)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-33 12-39
    Assists 20 28
    Turnovers 13 14
    Steals 6 6
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 11 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (2/1) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 16 9

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Chris Paul Paul
    Points: 24
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 0
    Juwan Howard Howard
    Points: 16
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0