NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis stormed down the lane, soared over a cluster of players under the basket, snagged a missed layup as it bounced off the front rim and slammed it down.
With that, the worst scoring slump the Hornets' celebrated rookie could ever recall at any level of basketball ended.
Davis had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets handed the Portland Trail Blazers their fifth straight loss, 99-63 on Wednesday night.
"When you see the ball go through — a free throw, jump shot, layup, dunk, whatever it is — the confidence just builds back up," Davis said. "When I got that first dunk, the confidence was rising and I just tried to keep feeding on it."
Davis, whose 0-for-7 shooting night on Monday in Detroit made him 1 of 13 in his previous two games, was 10 of 17 against Portland. He scored on an array of dunks, tip-shots and even jumpers from as deep as 20 feet.
For Davis, it seemed like a just result after he went to the practice gym on Tuesday — while the rest of the team was given the day off — and worked on his shooting.
"I was trying to keep my mind right," said Davis, who's been selected to play in an exhibition game involving top young players during this weekend's NBA All-Star festivities in Houston. "I wasn't going to take the day off."
Ryan Anderson added 14 points and Jason Smith 13, both in reserve roles. Greivis Vasquez had 10 points and eight assists.
Damian Lillard had 12 points and Victor Claver 11 for Portland, which lost starting guard Wesley Matthews to a sprained right ankle early in the game and played poorly throughout, shooting 32.4 percent (24 of 74) and turning the ball over 18 times.
"It is embarrassing — one of the most embarrassing nights of the year," Portland forward Nicolas Batum said. "It's a rough way to go into the All-Star break, losing five games in a row with a big loss, so we just need to get back on track" next week.
New Orleans, whose record was once as bad as 5-22, heads into the All-Star break having won four of five and 14 of its last 26 games.
"I've seen a lot of growth from a lot of our guys," Hornets coach Monty Williams said.
But while the Hornets (19-34) would have to win 22 of their last 29 games just to finish at .500, the Trail Blazers (25-28), are still in contention to snag one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference, if they can quickly figure out what's wrong.
"We are still not out of it by any means" Matthews said. "To be injured in the first minute-and-a-half and not be able to fight with my team was tough."
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