PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers entered Friday night's game against the New Orleans Pelicans with the NBA's worst rebounding percentage.
You'd never know it by the way the Trail Blazers hit the glass in a 119-104 victory at Moda Center.
Portland won the battle in total rebounds (52-34), offensive rebounds (12-2), points in the paint (64-34) and second-chance points (23-2).
"We've done a better job on the boards over the last four or five games," Portland coach Terry Stotts said on his 59th birthday. "We were harping on the rebounding, and it's really improved. It was a big factor for us tonight."
Damian Lillard combined 27 points with 11 assists to lead Portland (9-9), which had lost five of its previous six outings. CJ McCollum scored 24 points and Mason Plumlee contributed 12 points, a season-high 14 rebounds and eight assists for the Blazers.
"Really good to get a win," Stotts said. "Offensively, we were pretty good most of the night. Defensively, we were good after about two minutes into the second quarter. We've had some struggles, and we needed to get back on track. We did that tonight."
Anthony Davis had 31 points and 13 rebounds for the Pelicans (6-11), who saw the end to a four-game win streak.
"He's the best power forward in the league," said Portland's Meyers Leonard, who scored a season-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds off the bench. "He's really skilled. He has the 3 in his game now. He can attack you off the drive. He hits that mid-range face-up at the post, and on defense, and he's so long, he's on the glass and out there blocking shots.
"We schemed to front him in the post, to make things difficult for him. The guy's going to score. He gets a lot of touches, a lot of good looks. Their team does a good job of finding him. We did our best to slow him down, and we did throughout the majority of the game."
New Orleans shot .632 from the field and led 34-32 after one quarter, then extended its advantage to nine early in the second quarter. The Pelicans shot only .415 in the second half, though they made 9 of 16 3-point attempts. The differential on the glass proved the real difference.
The Blazers "just played harder than us," Davis said. "You have to box out. Some of them you can't control, but most of them, you just have to box out, put a body on a body and go get the rebound."
McCollum had 19 points and Lillard 11 points and six assists as Portland took a 66-57 advantage into halftime. Davis collected 15 points and seven rebounds before the break.
The Blazers started the third quarter with an 8-0 run to go ahead 74-57. The Pelicans got within 84-76 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the quarter. But Lillard led the way as Portland pushed the difference to 100-83 heading into the final period.
New Orleans started the fourth quarter with a 18-5 spurt to draw within 105-101 midway through the fourth quarter. Plumlee dunked, then scored on a layup to make it 109-101. Lillard followed with a pair of free throws and the Pelicans were history.
McCollum scored 10 of Portland's first 19 points and the Blazers led 27-21 after eight minutes. New Orleans took a 34-32 edge into the second quarter and extended it to 41-32.
But McCollum led the Blazers on an 11-0 surge that forged a 47-43 lead midway through the second quarter. The margin was nine points at intermission.
NOTES: New Orleans was without F Dante Cunningham, who will miss four to six weeks after fracturing his right fibula in a 117-96 rout of Minnesota on Wednesday. ... Most of the New Orleans coaches and players spent Thanksgiving Day at the home of F Terrence Jones, a Portland native. ... The Pelicans came in having won six of eight after starting the season 0-8 ... The Pelicans have lost their last 11 visits to Portland dating to November 2010. ... New Orleans F Anthony Davis has scored at least 30 points in eight of his last 10 games. Davis ranks second in the NBA in scoring with a 31.4-point average. "The only thing that stops MVP conversation (about Davis) is our record," coach Alvin Gentry said. ... Portland G Damian Lillard ranks fifth in the league in scoring at 28.3. ... Portland entered the game ranked last in the league in defensive efficiency (109.7), opponents' scoring (113.4) and rebound percentage (.469). ... It was the 2,000th victory in Portland franchise history. The record is 2,000-1,742 (.534), sixth best of the 15 franchise who have reached the landmark.