Feb 13, 2013 11:52 PM by AP
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets handed the Portland Trail Blazers their fifth straight loss, 99-63 on Wednesday night.
Davis, who missed all seven of his field goal attempts on Monday night in Detroit, was 10 of 17 against Portland, scoring on an array of dunks, tip-shots and even jumpers from as deep as 20 feet. Ryan Anderson added 14 points and Jason Smith 13, both in reserve roles. Greivis Vasquez had 10 points and eight assists in 26 minutes.
Damian Lillard had 12 points and Victor Claver 11 for Portland, which lost starting guard Wesley Matthews to a sprained right ankle early in the game and played poorly throughout, shooting 32.4 percent (24 of 74) and turning the ball over 18 times.
New Orleans, whose record was once as bad as 5-22, heads into the All-Star break having won four of five and 14 of its last 26 games.
The Hornets led by 12 at halftime and then took total control in the second half, when they outshot Portland 56.8 percent (25 of 44) to 34.2 percent (13 of 38) and outscored the Blazers 61-37.
The Hornets also outrebounded Portland 26-14 during the final two periods on their way to a lead as large as 39 points.
By the fourth quarter, the only drama in the arena concerned whether New Orleans would reach 100 points, a mark at which fans could get free french fries. But reserve Lance Thomas missed a free throw with 11.6 seconds left and was roundly booed. The Hornets regained possession once more in the final seconds and Brian Roberts dribbled the ball in the back court with a bemused expression on his face as more boos rained down.
Portland's hopes of ending its recent skid took an early hit when Matthews, who averages 15.2 points per game, collided with Austin Rivers, hurting his ankle as he fell awkwardly. Team officials quickly ruled him out of the remainder of the game.
The way the Blazers were shooting, they could ill afford to lose him.
Portland shot 30.6 percent (11 of 36) in the opening half and turned the ball over 11 times, leading to 10 Hornets points.
That allowed the Hornets to build a double-digit lead even as they shot only 37.2 percent (16 of 43).
New Orleans opened the second quarter with an 11-2 run that included a pair of jumpers by Smith and Darius Miller's 3. Davis closed the run with a dunk and a tip-in, putting the Hornets up 30-16.
The Hornets still led by 14 late in the second period when LaMarcus Aldridge's steal led to Claver's layup, cutting New Orleans' lead to 38-26 at halftime.
Notes: Aldridge, who came in averaging a team-leading 21.2 points, was 2 of 11 shooting and finished with 6 points. ... Anderson hit a 3-pointer for the 10th straight game, which also gave him at least one from long range in 50 of 53 games this season. ... Hornets G Eric Gordon, the team's second-leading scorer, was ruled out shortly before tipoff after spraining his right hand earlier in the day during shoot around, according to a team official. Gordon has missed 35 of 53 games this season, mostly because of a right knee injury. ... Portland and New Orleans have now split their first two games against each other this season, with the Blazers winning the first at home, 95-94, on a game-winning 3 at the horn by Lillard. ... Portland had won five straight against the Hornets coming in.