New Orleans, LA – Ryan Anderson's go-ahead 3-point play with 1.8 seconds left proved to be the difference as the New Orleans Hornets held on for a 98-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
Anderson put in the go-ahead bucket as he fought through a Jared Jeffries foul underneath the hoop. He finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds to help the Hornets snap a three-game losing streak.
"This is a big step for us," said Anderson. "Coming through when we need it instead of giving up or lowering our heads when they make a big a shot. We have to just stay confident, anything can happen in this league."
Greivis Vasquez chipped in 20 points and rookie Anthony Davis continued his strong play as of late for New Orleans, totaling 18 points with 10 rebounds.
Damian Lillard had the Trail Blazers ahead by one with 11.2 seconds left after answering an Anderson triple with one of his own. He ended with 20 points and eight assists for Portland, which had come in as winners in four of its last six.
Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 24 points, but misfired on the potential game-winning basket as time expired. J.J. Hickson contributed 14 points and 14 boards in the setback.
"We were more aggressive defensively," said Portland coach Terry Stotts of his team. "Our defense got us back into the game."
The Hornets saw their double-digit fourth-quarter lead disappear after Matthews made his third consecutive triple with 2:39 left, but Davis forced him into a difficult fadeaway jumper on the game's final play and had a huge offensive rebound on the Hornets' second-to last-possession.
With New Orleans down 93-92, he hauled in Vasquez's miss to keep the possession alive. The ball was then swung around until it found Anderson, who was wide open on the wing and drained the 3-pointer to put the Hornets on top with 15.6 seconds left.
Lillard, however, was freed up on a screen following a timeout and swished the go-ahead triple from the left wing with 11.2 seconds remaining prior to Anderson's game-winner.
The teams were tied at 22-22 after the first quarter, but the Hornets created separation late in the second to take a 53-44 advantage into halftime.
New Orleans led by as many as 11 in the third quarter before taking a 76-69 lead into the fourth.
Davis is averaging 17 points and 12.3 rebounds in four games since returning from a shoulder injury ... Lillard has scored at least 20 points in six straight games ... The Hornets were 11-for-20 from 3-point range ... LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 points for Portland ... Hornets guard Brian Roberts had nine points and a career-best nine assists.