NEW ORLEANS — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a three-game skid with an 84-77 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday.
Nicolas Batum add 19 points and Gerald Wallace 14 for Portland, which blew open a tie game early in the third quarter with a 17-2 run during which Aldridge made all five of his shots for 10 points.
Jarrett Jack scored 21, while Emeka Okafor added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who’ve lost four straight and 10 of 11.
The Hornets were plagued by poor perimeter shooting, going 0 of 9 from 3-point range, and turned the ball over 19 times.
Aldridge made just one of his first seven shots before finishing 10 of 17. Wesley Matthews added 10 points for Portland.
After trailing by 17 points in the fourth quarter, the Hornets pulled to 79-71 on Okafor’s short baseline jumper with under 3 minutes to go. But Batum responded with a 3 with 2:25 left to make it 82-71, and the Hornets were unable to threaten after that.
The score was tied at 37 when Jason Smith hit a jumper in the opening minute of the second half. Aldridge then began Portland’s decisive run with a jumper, tip-in and an inside basket in quick succession. Aldridge added another bucket inside and a smooth 11-foot turnaround fade from the baseline during the surge, which Matthews capped with a 3 to make it 54-39.
While Portland struggled to find its shooting touch in a tight first half, the Blazers made 54 percent (19 of 35) of their field goals in the second, and outshot New Orleans 47 percent (34 of 72) to 41 percent (28 of 68) for the game.
The Blazers also outrebounded the Hornets 33-32 and combined for 26 assists, 10 by Raymond Felton.
Chris Kaman scored 12 points for the Hornets but made only 6 of his 15 shots.
Batum, who had 10 of his points in the first half, and Kurt Thomas, who added eight points, helped the Blazers take an early lead that they maintained through the first two quarters.
Portland led by as much as nine but squandered chances to pull farther ahead while the Hornets were plagued by a pair of 0-for-7 shooting slumps, as well as an 0-for-5 start from 3-point range, during the first two quarters.
Mexican rookie Gustavo Ayon came off the bench in the second quarter to help the Hornets close the gap. In his first eight minutes on the floor, he made his first three shots, grabbed three rebounds and had a steal.
His driving layup off the glass pulled the Hornets to 32-28. Then Jack, who scored 10 before halftime, pulled New Orleans to 37-35 at the break with a jumper and a pair of free throws.
NOTES: New Orleans tied a season low for points allowed and set a season low for points scored in a first half this season. … Thomas made his second straight start for Marcus Camby, who is out with a left ankle sprain and listed as day to day. … New Orleans remained without starters Eric Gordon (right knee) and Trevor Ariza (right groin). Hornets coach Monty Williams said he hoped Ariza would return by the end of this week and Gordon by early next week. … Each team had one player named as a finalist for the 2012 US Olympic team, Gordon for the Hornets and Aldridge for Portland. … Smith got his 10th career start, seventh as a Hornet. … Announced attendance was 14,758.