Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers halted a four-game losing streak last time out and will try to keep the momentum going Sunday night when the Golden State Warriors visit the Moda Center.
The Blazers dropped the first four on a southern swing, but salvaged a win with a 111-103 victory at the Smoothie King Center over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Damian Lillard poured in 27 points and had five assists and was brilliant down the stretch.
The Pelicans led by six with 8:30 to go in the game. Lillard made two layups, and a 3-pointer to give Portland the advantage. The All-Star guard scored the Blazers' final nine points in the final 1:47 of the game.
"The game was on the line, so I needed to step up," Lillard said.
Lillard stepped up in the absence of fellow All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge. The big man left Wednesday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs with a lower back contusion and will be sidelined on Sunday.
Nicolas Batum tallied 22 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to go along with five assists in the win over New Orleans. Wesley Matthews added 20 points for the Trail Blazers, while Robin Lopez and Dorell Wright contributed 19 and 15 points, respectively.
The Blazers will also host the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards on this residency.
Portland is fifth in the Western Conference, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Warriors.
Golden State has lost two in a row after a five-game winning streak. The Warriors' losses came at the Staples Center to the Los Angeles Clippers, and at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cleveland overcame an 18-point deficit in the second quarter and destroyed the Warriors, 68-39, over the middle two quarters. The Cavs closed the third frame with a 14-3 run and led by as many as 16 in the fourth.
"Just a bad loss for us," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "We have to do a better job when we have teams on the ropes. Collectively, we didn't do the job."
Stephen Curry posted a game-high 27 points on his 26th birthday, Draymond Green netted 18 off the bench, and David Lee added 16 in the setback. Andre Iguodala finished with 11.
Klay Thompson missed the first game of his career on Friday due to the death of his grandfather, snapping a string of 214 straight games in the Golden State lineup.
The Warriors play five straight at home after Sunday's contest.
The teams split two matchups this season, both at Oracle Arena. The Warriors have won four of the last five against the Blazers and the two squads split the last six meetings in Portland.