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Blazers Fall Apart In Loss To Atlanta Hawks

One game after inspiring fans with a comeback win, the Blazers left a sour taste with a loss to the woeful 9-26 Hawks.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers started well, leading by as much as nine during the second quarter, but fell apart in the second half and ended up getting run out of the building by the lowly Atlanta Hawks 104-89 Saturday, rounding out 2017 calendar with another disappointing loss.

About the only bright spot for Portland was again the play of Shabazz Napier, who started again place of Damian Lillard and was solid throughout, finishing with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Napier needed all of his quickness to keep up with his ultra-athletic counterpart in Dennis Schroder, and although Schroder got the best of the matchup (22 points, 8 assists and the W), Shabazz certainly held his own and looked like the best player on the court for the Blazers tonight.

  • Take care of the orange. Portland did not take care of the ball tonight, turning it over 20 times, sometimes unforced. It seemed whenever a Blazer big would enter the key, an Atlanta player would be just as likely to get a strip or deflection as Portland would be to get a shot off. Credit to the Hawks, whose intensity completely knocked the Blazers out of rhythm and allowed them to run away with a win Portland probably should have had in the bag.
  • Winter has come. After tallying 57 points by the 10-minute mark in the third period, Portland endured a brutal cold spell, scoring only 12 points over the next virtual quarter of basketball while the Hawks made their run. By then, Atlanta held an eight-point advantage that they wouldn’t relinquish. The aforementioned turnovers played a large role.
  • Smelinelli. If he were to play every game against the Blazers, Marco Belinelli would be an All-Star. The 31-year-old Italian was again a thorn in Portland’s side, scoring 14 points off the bench for the Hawks, and almost adding insult to injury with a pair of potential highlight-reel dunks - yes, you read that correctly - which, fortunately for the Blazers’ dignity, were just off.

Box Score


What’s Next

The Blazers will get a day off before they head to Chicago to take on the Bulls on New Year’s Day - Evening tip is set for 5 p.m.

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