NEW ORLEANS — 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 zero-for-seven shooting night on Monday in Detroit made him one 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 has 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."
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 past 26 games.
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."
The Hornets led by 12 at halftime and took total control in the second half, when they outshot Portland 56.8 percent (25 of 44) to 34.2 percent (13 of 38) and outscored the Blazers 61-37.
Also on Wednesday:
LOS ANGELES — Caron Butler scored 17 of his 19 points in the opening quarter when the Clippers shot 77 percent, and Los Angeles led all the way in beating Houston.
BOSTON — Kevin Garnett scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and added 11 rebounds, and Boston overcame poor shooting to beat Chicago.
NEW YORK — Joe Johnson scored 26 points, including five 3-pointers, and C.J Watson added 25 points and five 3s to help Brooklyn beat Denver.
CLEVELAND — Kawhi Leonard made a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining to give San Antonio its 14th win in 15 games with a victory over Cleveland.
NEW YORK — Reserve Alan Anderson scored 26 points in one of the few good offensive performances for either team, and Toronto beat New York for its fourth straight victory.
DALLAS — Vince Carter scored 26 points to pass Larry Bird on the NBA’s career scoring list, and Dallas headed into the All-Star break with a victory against Sacramento.
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George posted his first career triple-double with 23 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists, and Indiana snapped a two-game skid with a win over Charlotte.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Josh Smith had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and Al Horford added 26 points and 12 rebounds to help Atlanta blow past Orlando.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Will Bynum scored six of his 20 points during a late run to help lead Detroit to a win over Washington.
MILWAUKEE — Monta Ellis scored 28 points, Brandon Jennings added 21 and Milwaukee rallied in the fourth quarter for a victory over Philadelphia.
MINNEAPOLIS — Al Jefferson had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Paul Millsap scored 21 points to power Utah to a victory over Minnesota.