Blazers Swat Hornets In OT


The Portland Trail Blazers got off nights from most of their starters. But once again, depth was the difference.

Reserve Greg Anthony scored 24 points, including six free throws in the final 25 seconds of overtime, as Portland won its sixth straight, 100-96 over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.

"Coming into the season, I thought the Hornets were the best team in the East, and they showed it tonight," Anthony said. "They gave us all we wanted, but I think our team is starting to jell and come together."

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  • Rasheed Wallace added 17 points for the Blazers. Steve Smith, Detlef Schrempf and Brian Grant each scored 12 for Portland.

    Elden Campbell had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which got its first home loss this season after five straight victories. Eddie Jones added 22 points for the Hornets.

    Charlotte led 91-88 in overtime before Wallace, Schrempf and Smith scored baskets to put Portland ahead 94-91.

    Jones cut the margin to 98-96 on a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left, but the Hornets ran out of time.

    "Tonight was one of those games," said Scottie Pippen, who along with Damon Stoudamire and Arvydas Sabonis, struggled from the floor. "We couldn't find the energy, but we difind a way to win."

    "It's hard to tell who the man is on this team. We all look for one another, and we distribute the ball well, but we have to continue to get better as a team. We didn't get to the loose balls tonight, and we didn't box out. We'll have to tighten up on some things later."

    Campbell scored the last four points of regulation to erase an 86-82 Portland lead and force the extra period. His spin move in the lane with 1.1 seconds left sent the game into overtime.

    The Hornets trailed 36-29 early in the second quarter before reserve guard Baron Davis scored six points in a 14-3 run that gave Charlotte a 43-39 advantage with 5:27 left in the half.

    Grant countered with six points in a 10-1 Portland spurt that gave the Blazers a 49-44 lead, but Jones hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Bobby Phills followed with a layup with 13.9 seconds left to tie it 49-49 at halftime.

    Campbell scored 12 points in the third quarter as Charlotte took a 71-68 lead.

    The Hornets stretched their lead to 80-73 on Campbell's jumper with 5:42 left in the game. But Smith hit a baseline jumper, Anthony made a 3-pointer and Schrempf scored on a fastbreak to tie the game at 80 with 3:49 remaining.

    "Steve Smith had a tough night, but then he gets those huge points," said Hornets coach Paul Silas. "But that's what he's been doing all his life. Portland's a great team. It looks like they're still trying to find themselves, but they know how to win."

    Notes

  • Charlotte forward Derrick Coleman, who missed Friday's game against Orlando with a strained right foot, went to the bench with 2:57 left in the first quarter and did not return.
  • Portland entered Saturday night's game leading the NBA in scoring margin at 12.9 points per game.
  • No team has scored 100 points against Portland this season.

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