The Blazers had the lead after three quarters so you knew how this one was going to end. The Blazers are now 31-0 when holding the lead heading into the fourth quarter. To make this win even better, the Blazers took care of business without start guard Damian Lillard who was out due to right knee soreness. Seth Curry started in his place and all five Blazers starters ended the night in double figures, and CJ McCollum recorded the first triple-double of his career.
Here are some quick thoughts from our reporters on the scene...
Dwight Jaynes, Trail Blazers' Insider: Blazers did not defend well, especially in the paint. Trae Young is not supposed to be a good shooter but he was in this game. Aminu was sensational on offense -- in spite of that dislocated finger in that last game. Curry did a nice job filling in for Damian Lillard in the starting lineup.
Jamie Hudson, Trail Blazers' Reporter: In a game that tipped off with no Damian Lillard (right knee) due to nagging injuries and really for Lillard to get some necessary rest, turned into a game against the Hawks with Evan Turner (left Achilles soreness) and Nik Stauskas (left knee soreness) not returning to game action in the second half. The good news- all three injuries are not serious. The other good news- The Hawks entered Saturday's game with just seven road wins, so... The Blazers gambled and figured they could handle Atlanta without their All-Star and then ET and Stauskas for the final two quarters. The gamble paid off. More good news-- after tonight's win the Blazers play just one game in the next the nine days. Hello, some much-needed rest!
Mike Richman, Trail Blazers' Reporter: The Blazers played like a team missing their best player for most of the night and yet they still gutted out a clunky win. CJ McCollum's triple-double really upstaged Seth Curry's season-high 22 points. The shorthanded Blazers needed both those performances to outlast the upstart Hawks. Now Portland gets an unusual amount of time off for Damian Lillard, Evan Turner and Nik Stauskas to get healthy with three full days before their next home game.
***Be sure to check back here throughout tonight for locker room videos with Coach Stotts and the players, plus locker room reports from Jamie Hudson and Dwight Jaynes***
NEXT UP: The Blazers have a three day break before hosting the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, January 30th. Tip-off is set for 7:30pm with coverage beginning at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Northwest.
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