(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Pelicans have their sights set on reaching the playoffs and look to win a fifth straight game Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Pelicans have defeated the LA Lakers and Sacramento Kings on this three- game road trip and recorded a 101-95 triumph in California's capital Friday night thanks to Eric Gordon's 21 points. Anthony Davis muscled his way to 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Tyreke Evans fell an assist shy of a triple-double with 19 points, 12 boards and nine assists for the Pelicans, who are just a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. OKC lost at Memphis Friday night and is off Saturday.
New Orleans shot just 39 percent from the floor overall, but was much more efficient from 3-point range, hitting 14-of-29 attempts. Quincy Pondexter knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers en route to 18 points.
"That gave us a bit of a buffer," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "It opened up the floor for us and allowed us to get to the basket later."
The Pelicans are 16-21 on the road and have a tough stretch ahead with Portland, Golden State and Memphis on the upcoming slate.
Portland is the Northwest Division champion and sits fourth in the conference standings - 2 1/2 games behind Houston and Memphis.
The Trail Blazers have won five of six games after losing five in a row and hammered the Lakers, 107-77, Friday night at Staples Center. C.J. McCollum led the Blazers in scoring with a career-high 27 points off the bench, Damian Lillard ended with 20 and LaMarcus Aldridge collected 14 points and eight boards.
"I'm just trying to be aggressive," McCollum said. "I want to come in and make an impact in the game, whether that is being aggressive or scoring."
The Trail Blazers clinched the Northwest title earlier Friday when Memphis beat Oklahoma City. It's the first time they won the division since finishing in a tie with Denver at the end of the 2008-09 season.
Portland won its first outright division title since the 1998-99 season and completed the first season sweep of the Lakers since 1993-94.
The Blazers are 30-8 at home and will visit Brooklyn on Monday. They have defeated the Pelicans twice this season and are unbeaten in the last four games in this series.
New Orleans has dropped seven straight games in Rip City.
Saturday's game has an intriguing matchup inside with Davis and Aldridge.