The Atlanta Hawks beat Portland in Portland earlier in their 17 game winning streak. The Blazers fared no better on their home turf.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 37 points and 11 rebounds, his 22nd double-double of the season, but the Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 105-99, Friday night at Philips Arena.
The Blazers started off the game with a distinct mixture of hot and cold. Shooting wise, they seemed to hit every shot they had missed over the past ten games. Aldridge had 11, Damian Lillard had 7, and the team shot 79% for the quarter. The downside was the turnovers. Portland committed seven in the period, almost all of them on poor passing choices or selfish drives. With those turnovers, Atlanta kept the game close, with the Blazers leading by two after one, the lead coming on an impossible shot by Steve Blake as time expired.
The turnovers kept piling up for Portland into the second quarter. Lillard had four in the period, six in the half, and the Blazers had 13 as a team. The Hawks' shooting improved, with Atlanta taking a four point lead, but Portland rallied back around Aldridge, who scored 10 in the period. Despite the deluge of turnovers, Portland led by one at halftime.
Nicolas Batum did not play in the second quarter after hitting his injured wrist on his own knee. Al Horford and Kyle Korver also slapped the wrist when Batum had the ball. He would return for the second half.
Atlanta regained the advantage briefly in the second half, forcing Portland into early foul trouble. Paul Millsap took six free throws in the quarter, as the Hawks took far more shots from the charity stripe, 22 to 11 on the night. Aldridge had six in the quarter before leaving with foul trouble, but strong play by Blake and Chris Kaman gave Portland a five point lead after three quarters.
The Hawks opened the final period with a 9-2 run to re-take the lead, featuring five points by Mike Scott. Dorell Wright hit a long three to keep pace. With under five minutes remaining, Atlanta hit back-to-back threes to take a six point advantage. Lillard had an open three, but missed and Atlanta converted it into a fast break. Lillard missed his last eight shots, including all three he took in the fourth quarter. Atlanta would hold the lead from there.
Blake led the bench scoring with eight. Lillard finished the night with 13 points, 11 assists, and 6 turnovers.
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night
Thanks to all who participated into our Gameday Thread! Here were the most popular comments based on number of recommendations:
Difference in this game: a 36-pt 4th qtr from ATL.... shot 71.4% in the quarter #Hawks #Blazers pic.twitter.com/Zk5wUgqTeE— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) January 31, 2015
Lillard leads the league in 4th quarter points, but has gone scoreless in his last two fourth quarters.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) January 31, 2015
LaMarcus Aldridge shot 62.5% (15-24) against Atlanta. All other Blazers combined to shoot 38% (24-63).— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) January 31, 2015
The good news, #Blazers can't slip anymore as they still lead the division by 8.5 gms over #Thunder— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) January 31, 2015
Dorell Wright on playing #Bucks tomorrow: "It has to be a must win" #Blazers— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) January 31, 2015
"I played the same way I’ve always played. I actually knew that I wasn’t going to come out here and do anything outside of the box." -- Dame— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 31, 2015
More Dame: “I wasn’t trying to go out of my way to prove a point. I just wanted to do what I always do for the team."— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 31, 2015
VIDEO: Steve Blake beats the first quarter buzzer with a tough bank shot.
VIDEO: Damian Lillard gets a reverse layup to fall midway through the third quarter.