Wednesday night at Charlotte, the Blazers proved that they did not need LaMarcus Aldridge to be shooting well to win the game.
Wesley Matthews had 28, Damian Lillard had 22 and Portland overcame a rough second quarter and a 3-of-18 shooting night for Aldridge to beat the Charlotte Hornets, 105-97 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Portland got out to fast start, opening up a nine point advantage with a 13-4 run. It was too early to celebrate, as Aldridge went cold for the rest of the quarter, shooting 1-of-6, and the Hornets bench rallied, outscoring Portland's bench 10-3 in the period. The Blazers maintained a slim two-point lead after one.
The second quarter was the stuff of nightmares for coach Terry Stotts. Portland shot just 5-of-18 in the quarter, including a combined 0-for-8 from Aldridge, Lillard and Wesley Matthews. On the defensive end, Hornets guard Brian Roberts had nothing short of an armed escort to walk through the lane, scoring 9 in the quarter and 15 in the half. Al Jefferson had 10 in the quarter, and Charlotte closed the half on an 11-2 run to lead by nine at the break, 54-45.
Yet again, the third quarter came to the rescue for the Blazers. Matthews and Lillard combined to shoot 7-of-7, including four threes, for 19 points. On defense, Portland cooled off Roberts and Cody Zeller. With the long range shots finally falling, the Blazers took a 78-76 lead into the final period.
Lillard and Matthews continued to shoot lights out into the fourth quarter. At one point, Matthews had made six straight, Lillard had made five. Robin Lopez and Chris Kaman played tremendous defense, and Portland held off a furious Charlotte attack to end the game.
Robin Lopez had 15 and Chris Kaman scored 12.
Through 15 games, Portland has made twice as many 3-pointers as their opponents (150-75).— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) November 27, 2014
Wesley Matthews' 28 points matches his season highs for both 2013-14 and 12-13 seasons.— Mike Tokito (@mtokito) November 27, 2014
#Blazers now 8-0 after leading in the 3rd qtr this season— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) November 27, 2014
VIDEO: Robin Lopez gets the dunk and the foul off a Nicolas Batum bounce pass.