Aldridge scores 34 as Blazers beat Hornets 103-96

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the New Orleans Hornets 103-96 Wednesday night for their season-high sixth straight victory.

Wesley Matthews added 24 points for Portland, which has been able to win despite injuries to three-time All-Star Brandon Roy and starting center Marcus Camby.

David West had 27 points and Willie Green added 24 for the Hornets, who have lost three straight and nine of their last 11.

The Hornets led by as many as eight in the second half, but Nicolas Batum's dunk narrowed it to 86-85 and Aldridge's turnaround jumper and free throw with 4:13 left gave the Blazers' their first lead of the second half. Andre Miller added a pull-up jumper to make it 90-86.

Green hit a running jumper, but Matthews answered with two consecutive layups for Portland to make it 94-88 and the Blazers controlled it the rest of the way.

There was talk that the Blazers might see Roy and Camby return for Wednesday night's game, but it was decided to hold both back until after the All-Star break.

Roy, who was averaging 16.6 points before he was sidelined indefinitely in December, told reporters he would play next Wednesday when the Blazers host the defending NBA champion Lakers.

Roy had arthroscopic surgery on both knees on Jan. 17. Later that week, Camby had a procedure to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee. Roy has said the problem is a lack of cartilage in his knees.

Both players have returned to practice.

The Blazers have been faring well even without them, thanks in a big way to Aldridge, who was named the NBA's Western Conference player of the week after he scored at least 36 points in three straight games last week, including a career-high 42 in a 109-103 win over Chicago on Feb. 7.

New Orleans, meanwhile, is struggling without center Emeka Okafor, who has been out for nine games with a strained muscle in his side. Okafor, who is averaging 11.1 points and 10.1 rebounds, is also expected back after the All-Star break.

The Blazers jumped out to a 27-18 lead on Batum's 3-pointer and extended it to 35-26 on Matthews' three at the first-quarter buzzer.

The Hornets narrowed it to 40-38 midway through the second, before going ahead 47-46 on Willie Green's layup and free throw. New Orleans led 49-48 at the break.

West hit a jumper and Trevor Ariza added a free throw to give the Hornets their biggest lead to that point, 66-59, but Batum answered with a 3-pointer.

Aldridge opened the fourth quarter with an angry put-back dunk to pull Portland to 76-72. His tip-in with 6:24 left in the game narrowed it to 84-83.

Notes: New Orleans had won the last two games in the series, and the last three at the Rose Garden. ... With his second assist Wednesday night, Chris Paul reached 4,000 for his career. ... The Hornets host the Los Angeles Clippers next Wednesday after the All-Star break.