Hawks vs. Trail Blazers - Recap
The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 104-93 at home at Philips Arena. This was the second and final meeting between these two teams this regular season. With the loss, the Hawks dropped to 38-31 on the season and 1-1 in the regular season series with the Blazers. The starters for the Hawks were Jeff Teague and DeShawn Stevenson in the backcourt, Kyle Korver and Josh Smith at the two forward positions, and Al Horford at center. Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Louis Williams (torn ACL, right knee) were the two inactives for the Hawks. Shelvin Mack, Johan Petro, Mike Scott, and Anthony Tolliver all received DNP-CDs. The leading scorer for the Hawks was Josh Smith, with 24 points. He also grabbed 10 boards, giving him a double-double on the night. Jeff Teague added 21 points and seven assists. Al Horford also contributed a double-double, with 15 points, 17 rebounds, and five dimes. The leading scorer for the Blazers was Wesley Matthews, with a game-high 28 points. In the first quarter, the Hawks outscored the Blazers 24-21. In the second quarter, the Blazers outscored the Hawks by that same score, and they tied the game at 45-all at the break. In the third quarter, the Hawks went on a 15-3 run, but Wesley Matthews responded by scoring 11-straight points for Portland, and the Blazers cut the Hawks' lead to 76-73 heading into the final frame. In the fourth quarter, the Blazers went on a 9-0 run. The Hawks had some chances to score down the stretch, but Josh Smith shot them out of the game, and they lost by 11. I think the key reason the Hawks lost was not being able to maintain the lead down the stretch. This is in part to Coach Larry Drew subbing Josh out when he was playing well, and by the time he re-inserted him, Josh wasn't playing as he was before. Regardless though, the Hawks players need to stay focused until the final buzzer sounds. Tough loss for the Hawks in their final home game before heading out on a four-game road trip.