Trail Blazers vs Hawks Saturday, 03/12/11 AT 04:00PM

Jackson-led Bobcats Blow By Portland, Hold On For Win

03/11/11
  1. Written by: Grant Lucas  / avg. rating: 3.0


    Similar to last week's matchup at the Rose Garden, the Portland Trail Blazers (37-28) seemed to be running away from the Charlotte Bobcats (27-38) with second-half rally, eventually building a 10-point lead late in the third quarter.

    Stephen Jackson, however, led a 22-7 Charlotte charge to open the final period and tallied 18 points in the fourth to help the Bobcats attain the lead and hold off the Trail Blazers for a 97-92 win at Time Warner Cable Arena, snapping Portland's seven-game road win streak and a string of four straight victories overall.

    "We know Stephen Jackson is capable of having a good night and he made some tough shot, but we didn't establish ourselves early tonight," Head Coach Nate McMillan said. "We've had some good games and some good wins but you have to stay hungry. We have to continue to play with a sense of urgency and I don't think we played that way tonight."

    Charlotte built a nine-point advantage in the closing quarter, but Portland stormed back with a 12-2 spurt that put the visitors back on top 89-88.

    As he did throughout the quarter, Jackson stepped up, connecting on an and-one lay-up with less than a minute to go.

    Wesley Matthews had a chance to even things up at the foul line, but only one of two attempts found the bottom of the net.

    D.J. Augustin hit a pair of free throws for the Bobcats, and just after Portland's inbound play, Patty Mills was tripped up. His shots, however, did not fall, as another set of Charlotte freebies sealed the win.

    Matthews led the way for Portland with 20 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 15 points and 10 assists. Andre Miller added 15 points to go along with nine helpers, and Nicolas Batum put up 13 points and seven boards.

    Gerald Wallace, who made his first appearance in Charlotte since being dealt to Portland, chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

    "It's still a work in progress," Wallace said. "We're still moving different things. I think tonight was a great game for us because of the adversity we had to go through. We have to take this game and learn from it."

    Jackson ended the game with 28 points and ten boards, while Augustin posted 16 points of his own. D.J. White put up a career-high 16 points while pulling down nine rebounds.

    "I just knew that's what the team has been missing, somebody to go in the fourth quarter," Jackson said. "Once I made a shot, I had the defender guessing and I could take my shots the way I wanted and they were falling. We were able to find a way to win."

    Similar to the last time these teams met up, the Trail Blazers took advantage of Charlotte giveaways, turning 18 Bobcat turnovers into 23 points, while holding Charlotte to 13 points off 15 Portland miscues.

    The Trail Blazers, however, rarely got to the charity stripe, and when they did, they couldn't convert. Out of just 16 attempts from the free throw line, Portland sank nine, while the Bobcats hit 26 out of 30 shots from the line.

    In the early goings, Portland forced six Bobcat turnovers and converted them into 11 points, as the Trail Blazers led 14-13 midway through the opening period despite shooting just 6-for-15 from the floor. The Bobcats gave the ball up nine times in the first that resulted in 12 Portland points, but trailed by just three points heading into the second quarter.

    The Trail Blazers built a 32-24 lead after a Wallace three-pointer, but the Bobcats strung together seven straight points before Brandon Roy buried Portland's fourth three-ball of the half to maintain a five-point advantage with less than seven minutes left in the period.

    Charlotte closed the half on a 12-5 run to even things up at 45, ending with a White tip-in just before the buzzer. White recorded six points and seven boards in just eight minutes of action.

    Charlotte tallied the second half's first four points, but the Trail Blazers ran off eleven straight points in response to grab a 56-49. Roy later fed Miller off a defensive rebound, who then laid it in on the other end to give Portland its largest lead of the night at 64-54.

    The Bobcats began the fourth quarter with a 14-2 spurt to take a 78-72, while Jackson accounted for 11 points and canned back-to-back three-pointers. Charlotte outscored its opponent 22-7 to open the final frame.

    The Trail Blazes surged back, notching consecutive breakaway dunks that brought Portland to within two at 88-86 with just more than three minutes remaining.

    After Jackson threw up an errant shot, Roy stepped back and nailed his first field goal of the second half to even things at 88 that was followed by one free throw by Aldridge that polished off a 12-2 Portland run and put the Trail Blazers up by one.

    "When you try to flip a switch and turn it on, a lot of times in this game it doesn't happen," McMillan said. "We tried to get it going in the second half, late in the game, and were able to get back into the game, but we just didn't have that sharpness."

    With 48.5 seconds on the clock, Jackson hit a lay-up and converted the and-one free throw, giving the Bobcats a two-point edge. The Bobcats had a chance to extend that lead, but Wallace denied a Henderson shot that earned Portland one more possession.

    Matthews received a feed from Aldridge and drove to the hole, where he drew a foul, but only one of two shots fell for him with 5.6 ticks to go. Four free throws by Augustin and White sealed the deal.

    "They played loose," Miller said. "They hit some shots. One stretch it felt like they were scoring every time up and down the court. (Stephen) Jackson got into a rhythm and hit like five or six shots in a row."

    Portland will pack up and jet over to Philips Arena to take on the Atlanta Hawks (37-27) on Saturday night, where the Trail Blazers will wrap up their four-game road swing.

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