ATLANTA – With the Hawks playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Portland Trail Blazers looked to take advantage of potentially tired legs. However, the young Hawks squad looked fresh following their 141-118 win over the Nets Friday night.
The Blazers jumped out to a 28-23 lead after one quarter.
In the fifth consecutive game that Damian Lillard has missed following a strained right groin, CJ McCollum continued to lead the Blazers in scoring. He finished with 35 points.
Atlanta caught fire in the second quarter, outscoring the Blazers 40-28 to take a 63-56 lead at the half.
The second half was much of the same: The Hawks took full advantage of the Trail Blazers’ defense.
As the Blazers were trying to dig themselves out of a hole, Portland lost backup guard Anfernee Simons to a left ankle sprain late in the third quarter.
Here are three quick takeaways from Saturday’s loss:
1. Hawks get it going from deep
Despite Atlanta being one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league, the Hawks were knocking them down against Portland. The Blazers had a hard time putting any pressure on the Hawks from behind the arc. Portland’s three-point defense has been an issue all season. De’Andre Hunter really took advantage of the open threes, as did, Trae Young, Cam Reddish, and Kevin Huerter.
2. Offense running through Melo
After starting the game 2-for-6 from the field, Carmelo Anthony continued to try find a way to get points on the board. The Trail Blazers made a conscious effort to get the ball on the block to Melo, especially early on. Whether it was his power step to the hoop or his fadeaway, the veteran power forward was looking to help his team fight back after being down by 20 points midway through the third quarter.
3. Getting heated
Even though in third quarter it felt as if the game was slipping away from the Blazers, Portland was still putting a fight. Trevor Ariza and Trae Young got into it. After a video review, Ariza was called for the flagrant one.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts was hit with a technical foul in the first quarter after arguing a non-foul call.
Up Next: The Trail Blazers head to Orlando for the final game of this three-game road trip. The Blazers and Magic will tip-off at 4:00pm PT Monday on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.
Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!