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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Feb 24, 2024 9:00 pm

Hornets look to get elusive road win vs. Blazers

Miles Bridges

The Charlotte Hornets will once again try to halt their longstanding woes in Portland when they attempt to end their 15-game road losing streak against the Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

Visits to the Rose City are always thorny for the Hornets, who last won in Portland on March 29, 2008, when the team in Charlotte was named the Bobcats.

There have been three losses of at least 30 points during the long slide, including a horrific 112-68 loss on Feb. 1, 2012.

In last season’s visit to Portland, the Hornets led by six points at halftime before being outscored 63-46 in the second half to fall 124-113.

Charlotte will make another attempt, two nights after losing 97-84 to the host Golden State Warriors on Friday night. The loss snapped the Hornets’ season-long four-game winning streak.

Charlotte scored just 29 first-half points and finished the game shooting 36.4 percent from the floor during the anemic offensive performance.

“Offensive energy, offensive purpose, not playing inside out, not playing nearly as unselfishly as we have been,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said, reciting reasons for the struggles. “(Golden State’s) defense was very good, too. That had a lot to do with it. …

“It’s the NBA. It’s just going to happen. We just had a week off. That’s our second game in two days. It’s going to happen sometimes. It’s just part of the league.”

Miles Bridges had 19 points and 11 rebounds and was the only Charlotte player to score more than 11 points.

Rookie standout Brandon Miller had 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting in 31 minutes.

“He usually moves the ball and him not being in there, we were stagnant,” Clifford said of the attack. “Until the fourth quarter, we didn’t play any pace and the ball didn’t move.”

Hornets star LaMelo Ball (ankle) is expected to miss his 14th consecutive game.

Portland has lost seven consecutive games after falling 127-112 to the visiting Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The Trail Blazers are 0-5 on a seven-game homestand.

Portland couldn’t slow down the duo of Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic. Porter scored a season-high 34 points and Jokic posted his 122nd career triple-double.

“For the most part, I thought we played pretty good,” Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “That team is better than we are. They’re the world champions.”

Jerami Grant scored 25 points for Portland and Deandre Ayton had 22 points on 11-of-17 shooting and collected 10 rebounds. Anfernee Simons also fared well with 21 points and eight assists.

Rookie Scoot Henderson (adductor) missed the contest and Malcolm Brogdon (elbow) remains sidelined, leaving Portland without two point guards. Both will also miss Sunday’s game.

That opened the door for Dalano Banton to play 20 minutes off the bench and he contributed 14 points and three assists.

Portland recently signed Ashton Hagans to a two-way contract after he previously played on a 10-day deal. He also can provide depth at the point.

“I was happy with how (Hagans) played during his 10-day, his opportunity,” Billups said. “He’s just a scrappy guy, he’s an actual real point guard, he’s out there trying to make plays for everybody, picking the ball up full court, pushing the ball on the other end. He did a good job. … I love to see people get what they deserve.”

–Field Level Media

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