Monday, March 1: Trail Blazers 123, Hornets 111
The skinny: The Trail Blazers snapped their four-game losing streak in impressive fashion Monday against Charlotte at Moda Center.
In playing in the first of three home games to finish the NBA's first half, the Trail Blazers shot well — led by Robert Covington and Carmelo Anthony — and beat the Hornets 123-111. It was Portland's seventh consecutive win against Charlotte, which has an impressive rookie in LaMelo Ball.
Covington, who has been selected for the Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star Game festivities on Sunday, made his first eight shots, including five 3-pointers, and scored a season-high 21 points and added 10 assists, two assists and two steals. Anthony had 29 points, hitting six 3-pointers as the Blazers went 24 of 46 from the 3-point line (.522) — the 24 makes being a franchise record. Anthony made the 24th 3-pointer for the record, and scored 17 fourth-quarter points.
Anthony also had five steals.
Damian Lillard also hit six 3-pointers and scored 23 points as the Blazers (19-14) shot .535 from the field.
Lillard also had 10 assists.
The Hornets (16-18), playing without Gordon Hayward, led early on thanks to Ball, who hit three shots (two 3-pointers) and scored eight points in the first quarter — well on his way to a big game. He had 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds. He hit 5 of 7 3-pointers. Terry Rozier added 20 points and Malik Monk 19.
Quotable: "I always like it, no matter who it is, but when Melo gets on a roll, it's fun to watch," coach Terry Stotts said of Carmelo Anthony, who exchanged jerseys with LaMelo Ball after the game.
Dunk contest: Covington will be in the Skills Challenge at the NBA All-Star Game, Sunday, March 7 at Atlanta. Anfernee Simons has been selected for the Slam Dunk Contest. New York's Obi Toppin and Indiana's Cassius Stanley are also participating in the dunk contest.
Lillard will be skipping 3-point shooting contest, but play in the NBA All-Star Game, 5 p.m.
Next up: The Blazers play back-to-back games, 7 p.m. Wednesday against Golden State and 7 p.m. Thursday against Sacramento.
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