The Trail Blazers (25-17, 17-7 home) have selected a very good time to start peaking. Portland enters Friday evening’s game against the Hornets (19-21, 5-13 away) on a roll after having won seven of their last ten games. The game gets underway at 10:00 p.m. EST at Moda Center.
The Trail Blazers opened as 6.5-point favorites for this contest, with a high over/under total of 223. Charlotte is 20-20-0 against the spread this year and 23-17-0 over/under, compared to 21-21-0 ATS and 19-23-0 over/under for Portland.
The secret to the Trail Blazers’ recent success has been exceptional balance. Portland is surrendering 110.0 points per game and the Trail Blazers are 17th in field goals allowed and 11th in three-pointers allowed. Their ability to apply pressure for a full 48-minutes makes them a tough out.
On the other side of the ball, Portland ranks 12th in the league in offensive rating and is averaging 111.5 points per game. They’ve been led this season by Damian Lillard, who is averaging 25.9 points per contest on 43.0% shooting.
The Hornets, meanwhile, have had one of the NBA’s best offenses this season. Charlotte is averaging 112.9 points and ranks 21st in rebounds and 18th in dimes. They’ve been powered this season by Kemba Walker, who is averaging 25.1 points per contest on 41.0% shooting.
This is the first time this year these two rivals have met, but they’ve both been active lately.
Charlotte is coming off a 109-128 loss vs the Clippers in Los Angeles. Malik Monk led the Hornets in that one with 24 points.
The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, are coming off of a 112-124 win vs the Bulls in Chicago in which they shot 11 for 26 from deep and won the war on the glass 48-42.
Overall, the Hornets have won four of their last ten games and are eighth in the Eastern Conference, while the Trail Blazers have lost three of their last ten and are fourth in the Western Conference.