EditorsNote: Several changes, including these: first graf, change ‘home’ to ‘host’; 2nd graf, altered play by play
Rodney Hood came off the bench to score 27 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers remained hot with a 118-108 victory over the host Charlotte Hornets on Sunday afternoon.
The Blazers bolted to a 15-point lead in the first quarter but then had to pull away again in the fourth quarter, going on a 15-2 run in the final six minutes. Hood scoring 14 of 16 Portland points in one stretch of the quarter.
The Blazers won for the sixth time in their last seven games. They were playing the sixth game of a grueling seven-game, 15-day road trip, but they showed no signs of fatigue.
Jusuf Nurkic finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, and he, too, played a key role in the fourth quarter with seven points in the decisive 15-2 run.
The Blazers also got 23 points from Damian Lillard and 14 from Al-Farouq Aminu. C.J. McCollum, who scored 30 when the Blazers beat the Hornets in Portland in January, finished with only six.
The Hornets were led by Jeremy Lamb with 23 points, including 20 in the first half. Frank Kaminsky and Kemba Walker scored 18 each, but Walker was just 5-of-21 shooting from the field. The Hornets also got 14 points from Tony Parker and 10 from Miles Bridges.
The Blazers raced to a 26-11 lead at the start and eventually led 32-25 after one quarter and 56-50 at halftime. Portland then led 81-80 entering the fourth quarter.
Portland was up 97-96 when Nurkic scored five straight to push the lead to 102-96, and after a Charlotte basket, Hood hit a jumper and Aminu converted a three-point play to push the lead back up to nine. Nurkic then added a layup and Hood added a 3-pointer, and the lead grew to 14.
The Blazers will close out their road trip on Tuesday at Memphis. The Hornets will host Miami on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media