Batum has 19 in Blazers' 86-74 win over Hornets
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)
LaMarcus Aldridge, who had just two points and three rebounds in the first half, finished with 10 points and 11 boards for Portland, which led by as many as 26 points and got a morale-boosting victory before heading out on a seven-game, 12-night road trip. Aldridge did not play in the fourth quarter.
Marco Belinelli had 18 points for New Orleans, which has lost four of its last five games. At 9-29, the injury-depleted Hornets have the worst record in the Western Conference. Chris Kaman had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blazers (19-19) had fallen below .500 for the first time this season with a 122-110 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. They had lost six of their last eight games at the Rose Garden.
Blazers coach Nate McMillan again changed up his starting lineup, moving Raymond Felton back to the point and playing Jamal Crawford off the bench. Felton, who has struggled this season, finished with 11 points and 10 assists.
The Hornets, who have been hampered by injuries all season, saw the return of starter Trevor Ariza, who missed the last two games because of an illness. He finished with four points.
Carl Landry (sprained knee ligament) and Jason Smith (concussion) were both questionable going into the game, but did not play. New Orleans was still without Eric Gordon, who has a right knee contusion, and Emeka Okafor, who has a sore left knee.
The Blazers jumped out to a 27-17 lead to start the second quarter, but the Hornets closed the gap to 27-24 after Xavier Henry's 19-foot jumper. Portland wouldn't let them get any closer, and pulled away to a 34-24 lead on Batum's 3-pointer.
The Blazers were able to stay in front and went to the half with a 46-38 lead.
Sparked by Aldridge's putback dunk, a layup, and a jumper, Portland pulled away in the third quarter, going on a 15-2 run to go ahead 65-45.
The Hornets had just 10 points in the quarter to trail 70-48 going into the fourth quarter. It was their lowest point total for a quarter this season.
Notes: The Blazers are 3-0 in the four-game series against the Hornets this season. ... Monday's game was the first of a four-game road trip for New Orleans. ... Aldridge's point total was his lowest this season in a Blazers' win.