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 Roy leads Blazers over Hornets 101-86

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PostSubject: Roy leads Blazers over Hornets 101-86   Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:48 pm

PORTLAND, Ore.(AP) Brandon Roy thinks the Portland Trail Blazers are shaping up to be a pretty good team."I'm
not going to go out on a limb and say we're going to win a
championship,'' he said. "We have tons of room to improve. That's why I
think we're a pretty good team because we're winning games and we still
have room to improve.''In the latest win, the Blazers used a 17-point, second-half run to beat the New Orleans Hornets 101-86 on Friday night.Roy,
who is often cautiously optimistic, had 25 points and 10 assists. The
All-Star guard has scored 20-plus points in 10 of the team's last 12
games.LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and seven rebounds for the
Blazers (11-6), who are off to their best start since they opened the
2000-01 season 12-6.The Blazers also improved to 7-0 this season
at the Rose Garden, their best start at home since they went 9-0 in the
1998-99 season."Still, we've got to keep improving,'' coach Nate
McMillan said. "I'm really pleased with our games at home and the fan
support we get but we've got to make our own noise out on the road. I'm
happy with our record and where we are but there's a lot of season left
and we must continue to get better.''The loss snapped a
four-game winning streak for the Hornets (9-6), who were led by Peja
Stojakovic with a season-high 21 points. New Orleans was playing the
second game of a back-to-back after edging the Denver Nuggets 105-101
on Thursday night.Chris Paul, who has had triple-doubles in two
of the Hornets' last three games, had 16 points, six rebounds and six
assists. It was New Orleans' fifth straight loss in Portland."We
are nowhere near where we need to be,'' Paul said. "We have a lot of
work to do, mentally, physically ... as a team. It's a long season but
the only way that we're going to get in the playoffs is if we start
winning games.''The Blazers led by as many as nine points in the
first half, but James Posey's layup helped narrow it to 38-37 for the
Hornets. New Orleans couldn't get closer and Portland led 50-48 at the
break.New Orleans pulled ahead early in the second when Stojakovic's jumper made it 56-54.The
Hornets took a 69-65 on David West's 20-foot jumper, but the Blazers
went on a 17-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Rudy Fernandez, that made
it 82-69.In the midst of the run, Fernandez was fouled by Devin
Brown and he stumbled before grasping his ankle in pain. There were
several tense moments before Fernandez shook it off and made the foul
shots, to the chants of "Rudy! Rudy!'' from the Rose Garden crowd.When he made his run-capping 3-pointer, Fernandez raised his arms and held up three fingers.Steve Blake's 3-pointer in the final minute made it 101-84, the Blazers' largest lead of the game.Hornets
coach Byron Scott he was amazed that the game was even close for a
time. He said his team lacked both energy and aggressiveness."It
was the way that we lost, more than anything,'' Scott said. "I'm not
disappointed with the loss. I'm disappointed with the way that we
lost.''Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft who sat
out all of last season after knee surgery, made his fourth start of the
season and had one point and eight rebounds in 23 minutes.The
Trail Blazers, the NBA's second-youngest team behind the Golden State
Warriors, were coming off a 106-68 rout of Miami at home on Wednesday
night.Notes: Tyson Chandler returned to the starting lineup for
New Orleans after missing the game against Denver because of the birth
of his son. He fouled out with 2:09 left. ... The Hornets beat the
Blazers 87-82 in their first meeting this season on Nov. 14 in New
Orleans. ... The Blazers and the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only two
unbeaten teams at home in the NBA. The Cavs are 9-0 at home.

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