Hawks vs. Trail Blazers - Recap
The Atlanta Hawks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 95-87 on the road. This was the second game of a back-to-back set for the Hawks. With the win, the Hawks improved to 3-3 on the season, took a 1-0 lead in the regular season series with the Trail Blazers, and improved to 1-1 on their four-game road trip. The starters for the Hawks were Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the backcourt, DeShawn Stevenson and Josh Smith at the two forward positions, and Al Horford at center. Both Josh Smith and Louis Williams, who were sick and listed as questionable for the game, did play. I commend both of them for that. Johan Petro (lower back pain) did not play. The leading scorer for the Hawks was Josh Smith, with a game-high-tying 19 points. He also grabbed 11 boards, giving him a double-double on the night. Kyle Korver added 16 points. Al Horford contributed a double-double, with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Teague scored 13 points and dished out eight assists. Louis Williams pitched in 11 points off the bench. The Trail Blazers were lead by Nicolas Batum and J.J. Hickson, who scored 19 points apiece. In the first quarter, the Hawks got off to a 22-9 start, before settling on a 28-22 lead at the end of one. The Hawks took their largest lead of the game, by 15, in the second quarter, but the Trail Blazers came back to cut the lead back down to 56-47 at the half. In the third quarter, Nicolas Batum scored 11 points for the Trail Blazers, who further trimmed the Hawks lead down, this time to 75-67 heading into the final frame. In the fourth quarter, the Trail Blazers went on a 13-0 run. They took their first lead of the game at 84-83. However, the Hawks ended the game on a 10-0 run to secure the eight-point victory. I think the key to the win for the Hawks was ball movement. They got five players in double-digit scoring, while racking up 20 assists as a team, compared to 15 by the Trail Blazers. Also, they got the bench involved, outscoring the Trail Blazers' bench 26-6. The fact that the Hawks in addition to that, also outscored the Trail Blazers 46-38 in the paint shows that they were getting their bigs involved as well. Great win for the Hawks in the second game of a four-game road trip.