After a poor second half performance, the Charlotte Hornets squandered a 15 point lead to lose to the Portland Trailblazers 105 to 97.
The Hornets second quarter was one of their strongest of the season, as they outscored the Blazers 30-17. The quarter was lead by Brian Roberts, who scored 15 points in the first half and made his first six shots. Roberts finished with a career high 24 points on 10-17 shooting.
Al Jefferson finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds, but shot 9-19. He's getting touches, but didn't score efficiently.
Cody Zeller's defense was superb on LaMarcus Aldridge, who struggled tonight, shooting just 3-18. Zeller had a strong half on the offensive end as well, with nine points on 4-7 shooting. Unfortunately, he wouldn't score in the second half.
The Hornets led 56-45 at the half, and looked strong on both ends. Portland would own the second half however, outscoring Charlotte 60-41 in the second half. Portland's defense tightened up, and Wesley Matthews got hot, finishing with 28 points on 10-15 shooting, including 6-9 from three. Damian Lillard also hurt the Hornets from deep, connecting on four of eight from behind the arc, finishing with 22 points. Robin Lopez also had a strong game, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds.
Injuries hurt Charlotte in the second half. Marvin Williams left the game at halftime with a shoulder injury, while Kemba Walker left the game briefly in the third quarter after being struck in the leg scrambling for the ball. Walker would return, and appeared all right, but the Blazers capitalized on his absence.
While the Hornets kept the Blazers lead within eight early in the fourth, the Blazers pulled away with 3-point shots. This makes seven losses in a row for Charlotte, and it won't get any easier with the Golden State Warriors coming to town on Friday.