New Orleans at Portland

Randolph free throws complete impressive Portland comeback

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Zach Randolph just wouldn't let the Portland Trail Blazers lose -- no matter how big the Hornets' lead grew.

Randolph had 31 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 2.4 seconds left, and the Trail Blazers rallied from a 27-point deficit to shock New Orleans 92-91 Friday night, the biggest collapse in Hornets history.

Peja Stojakovic scored 21 points for the Hornets, who blew 25-point leads in losses on two occasions. Desmond Mason had 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter for the Hornets, who lost their second straight game after a franchise-best 4-0 start.

"This should have been over early," said Hornets point guard Chris Paul, who had 12 points and eight assists. "We just let them back in it. We just lost."

Stojakovic tied the game at 91-all, hitting a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left, but Randolph drew a foul and went 1-of-2 at the line. Stojakovic launched a shot from beyond halfcourt at the buzzer that bounced off the back rim.

Travis Outlaw had 16 points, six rebounds and six blocks for the Blazers, who were led by assistant Dean Demopoulos with coach Nate McMillan away after the death of a family member.

"This team made this comeback and did it for Nate," Demopoulos said. "I thought the kids showed some amazing resilience. What impressed me is they kept listening to coaches and we got good feedback from them at timeouts."

New Orleans scored 38 points in the first quarter, and led 40-13 early in the second. But the Hornets had just 33 points combined in the second and third.

"Right after the first quarter we were a completely different team," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "This is a game in March we're going to look back on and kick ourselves."

Jarrett Jack had 13 points and five assists for the Blazers, who are 3-0 this season at home.

Randolph, a 91 percent free throw shooter entering the game, made 15 of 16 free throws for the Blazers and led their charge back.

Scoreless with 4:12 left in the second quarter, Randolph had 12 of the Blazers' last 14 points in the half and Portland put together an 18-4 run to cut the lead to 53-44.

Randolph, who came into camp in the best shape of his career, has had a dominating start to the season, averaging 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

"He is one of the most significant forces in the NBA right now," Demopoulos said.

The Hornets were up 63-51 in the third when Tyson Chandler picked up two quick technical fouls and was ejected for arguing after fouling Jamaal Magloire.

Jack made the two technicals and Magloire missed the two foul shots, but Randolph grabbed the rebound and converted a three-point play to cut the lead to seven. Minutes later, Ime Udoka cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer.

Randolph gave the Blazers their first lead with seven minutes left in the game, with a three-point play that made it 78-76.

David West had 17 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans. Reserve Bobby Jackson added 15 points.

Paul was coming off a career-high 34-point game in Thursday's loss to Golden State and has double-doubles in four of the Hornets' six games this season.

Blazers rookie Brandon Roy, who missed the last game with a heel injury, started but played just seven minutes before leaving the game.

Notes

  • LaMarcus Aldridge, the second pick in the NBA draft, dressed for the first time this season for the short-handed Blazers. He is recovering from a shoulder injury and could make his debut Sunday against Dallas.
  • New Orleans went 3-1 against the Blazers in 2005-06, winning the last three meetings. The Hornets had won seven of the past eight games against the Blazers at the Rose Garden.
  • Portland's Darius Miles will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday in New York to fix some loose cartilage. It's the same knee he had operated on last December.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Zach Randolph comes through for the Blazers with the deciding free throw to cap his 31 points.  (AP)
Zach Randolph comes through for the Blazers with the deciding free throw to cap his 31 points. (AP)

Scoreboard
NO/Okla. City (4-2) 3815182091
Portland (4-2) «1331232592
NO:P. Stojakovic 21 Pts
NO:D. West 13 Reb
NO:C. Paul 8 Ast
POR:Z. Randolph 31 Pts
POR:Z. Randolph 12 Reb
POR:J. Jack 5 Ast
Players of the Game
PortlandNew Orleans

Z. Randolph

D. West
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
3112017130
New Orleans
D. West, PF436-165-6130617
C. Paul, PG396-170-038212
D. Mason, SF357-94-462118
P. Stojakovic, SG348-161-140221
T. Chandler, C192-40-03444
B. Jackson, PG266-132-342215
C. Simmons, PF160-12-26132
R. Butler, SF130-10-03040
J. Pargo, PG90-30-01200
L. Johnson, SF51-30-01002
M. Jackson, CDid Not Play
B. Bass, PFDid Not Play
H. Armstrong, CDid Not Play
M. Vinicius, SFDid Not Play
Totals 36-8314-1644192491
 43.4%87.5% 
Portland
J. Jack, PG433-106-615113
Z. Randolph, PF418-1715-16120231
J. Magloire, C173-61-46037
D. Dickau, PG91-31-12023
B. Roy, SG70-10-00000
I. Udoka, SF353-41-42249
T. Outlaw, PF326-94-560316
J. Dixon, SG282-92-23326
M. Webster, SG192-72-23017
S. Graham, SG100-10-01130
R. LaFrentz, PFDid Not Play
D. Miles, SFDid Not Play
J. Przybilla, CDid Not Play
L. Aldridge, PFDid Not Play
S. Rodriguez, PGDid Not Play
Totals 28-6732-4036112192
 41.8%80.0% 
Other Games
Sea 99 Final
Char 85
Atl 111 Final
Tor 102
Mil 111 Final
Wash 116
Orl 83 Final
Ind 93
Den 108 Final
Phi 101
Utah 107 Final
Bos 100
Mia 113 Final
NJ 106
NY 94 Final
Hou 103
Det 97 Final
LAL 83