FINAL: Portland Trail Blazers 86, New Orleans Hornets 74

"What has two thumbs and can't stop Joel Przybilla? That guy!"

The Portland Trail Blazers needed a win and got one tonight, easily pulling away from the New Orleans Hornets in the second half. for a victory. With this win, the Blazer losing streak is broken just before a grueling road trip begins.

The Blazers were led in scoring by Nicolas Batum, with 19 points. However, Marcus Camby (6 points, 16 rebounds), LaMarcus Aldridge (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Raymond Felton (11 points, 10 assists, 2 steals in his return to the starting lineup) played key roles.

No game flow for the first half tonight. It's not because it was boring. Well, it probably was. But I didn't get to see it. But from what I hear, Batum helped the Blazers jumped out to a 10 point first quarter lead. Meanwhile, neither team could make any progress in the second quarter, battling back and forth, jumper for jumper, as the Blazers held an 8 point lead at the half.

In the third, the Hornets closed to within three early. Then, the Blazers look like that car on the freeway in your rear view mirror. You know they're going fast, but you don't realize how fast. Then VOOM, they're already a mile past you. Before New Orleans could catch their collective breaths, the scored 10 points in the quarter, while Portland scored 24, capped by a late Matthews three, to take a 22 point lead.

From there, the Hornets had little in the tank. But just to make sure, Nate kept the rotation in the game as they took a quick 26 point lead. Despite a few Przy picks that left an imprint, New Orleans cut the lead under 20. However, that was as close as it would get, and with a few minutes left, it was time for the young guys to have a turn, as the game closed slightly, then streamers fell.

Check out the box score, then stay tuned for Dave's recap and Ben's media row report. The next game is Wednesday, in [cue ominous music] Minnesota. -- Tim

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