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    Damian Lillard scores season-high 43 as Blazers down Hornets

    Dec 18, 2021
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    Damian Lillard goes 12 for 19 in 37 minutes of action.
    PHOTO: AP

    PORTLAND, Oregon — Damian Lillard scored a season-high 43 points and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a seven-game losing streak, beating the Charlotte Hornets, 125-116, on Friday night (Saturday, Manila time).

    Ben McLemore added 28 points for Portland, hitting six of his eight 3-pointers in the first half to help the Trail Blazers set a franchise record with 16 3-pointers in the half. They led 81-55 at the break.

    LaMelo Ball led the Hornets with 27 points in his first game back after being in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

    The Hornets cut a 29-point deficit to to single-digits in the fourth quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr.'s layup pulled Charlotte to 118-112 with 1:12 left, but McLemore hit a 3-pointer to put Portland ahead 121-112.

    Lillard scored 17 first-quarter points to help the Blazers race to 41-24 lead. Lillard came into the game with the worst shooting numbers of his career, shooting under 40 percent from the field and barely over 30% from the 3-point line.

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    The Blazers were 21 of 47 from 3-point range overall.

    Norman PowellNorman Powell scores 14 points and issues five assists.

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      Hornets: Hornets coach James Borrego told reporters before the game that while there was no hard minutes restriction for Ball's minutes. He played 29 minutes.

      Trail Blazers: The seven-game losing streak was the Blazers' longest since the 2015-16 season. … With CJ McCollum (collapsed right lung), Dennis Smith Jr. (knee soreness), Tony Snell (personal reasons) and Cody Zeller (patella) all out due to injury, rookie two-way player Trendon Watford played in the first half for the first time this season.

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      Hornets: At Phoenix on Sunday night.

      Trail Blazers: At Memphis on Sunday night.

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      Damian Lillard goes 12 for 19 in 37 minutes of action.
      PHOTO: AP
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