Damian Lillard rested for a second straight game, but the Blazers could not replicate the result from their win at San Antonio on Friday, losing to the Charlotte Hornets, 109-101.
The Blazers trailed by as many as 25 points in the first quarter, and as many as 29 in the second half. But the Hornets lead was cut down to just nine at 104-95 in the final period. In the end, though, it was Charlotte’s game to control.
Hornets point guard Terry Rozier led all scorers with 34 points, while Carmelo Anthony led Portland in scoring with 24 points off the bench including 6-of-12 from three-point range. CJ McCollum had 22 points, Norman Powell had 17 but was just 1-for-8 from deep, and Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points and 6 rebounds.
The loss drops the Blazers to 32-24 overall, still good for sixth place in the Western Conference standings, 1.5 games clear of 7-seed Dallas. Portland returns home for four games in a row at Moda Center, starting Tuesday night vs the LA Clippers, the current three-seed in the conference.