Hayward leads Charlotte against Portland after 41-point game
Charlotte Hornets (16-14, sixth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (11-18, 11th in the Western Conference)
Portland, Oregon; Friday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Charlotte faces the Portland Trail Blazers after Gordon Hayward scored 41 points in the Hornets’ 131-115 win against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Trail Blazers are 10-7 in home games. Portland is seventh in the Western Conference shooting 34.8% from deep, led by Keljin Blevins shooting 66.7% from 3-point range.
The Hornets are 8-10 in road games. Charlotte ranks second in the Eastern Conference with 10.7 offensive rebounds per game led by Mason Plumlee averaging 2.5.
The teams play for the second time this season. The Hornets won the last matchup on Oct. 31. LaMelo Ball scored 27 points to help lead the Hornets to the victory.
TOP PERFORMERS: Damian Lillard is averaging 22 points and 7.7 assists for the Trail Blazers. Jusuf Nurkic is averaging 16.6 points over the last 10 games for Portland.
Ball averages 2.9 made 3-pointers per game for the Hornets, scoring 20.0 points while shooting 39.1% from beyond the arc. Kelly Oubre Jr. is shooting 50.3% and averaging 22.3 points over the past 10 games for Charlotte.
LAST 10 GAMES: Trail Blazers: 1-9, averaging 102.5 points, 41.3 rebounds, 21.3 assists, 6.7 steals and 4.4 blocks per game while shooting 42.5% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 114.4 points per game.
Hornets: 4-6, averaging 123.1 points, 39.4 rebounds, 27.5 assists, 7.2 steals and 5.7 blocks per game while shooting 49.9% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 124.3 points.
INJURIES: Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller: out (knee), CJ McCollum: out (lung), Tony Snell: out (personal).
Hornets: LaMelo Ball: out (health and safety protocols).