In the second night of a back-to-back, and lack of sleep after a Tornado evacuation early in the morning, the Trail Blazers still brought the energy in Atlanta.
It was a physical battle Monday night with many spills and hits.
Portland had its work cut out for it against the hot shooting Atlanta Hawks.
After trading baskets early, the Hawks’ efficient shooting and dominance on the boards helped them take a 68-62 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, both teams put on a shooting clinic. Early in the quarter, it looked like the Hawks were going to start to run away with it. But Damian Lillard had other plans.
Lillard scored 15 third-quarter points as the Blazers cut the lead to seven.
But the Blazers ran out of gas early in the fourth as the Hawks cruised to a 123-114 blowout win.
Atlanta took a 32-31 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Blazers were the aggressors early. By halftime, Portland had attempted 24 free throws. The ball movement, the slashing, the pick and roll action, it was all working for the Blazers.
But it was also working for the Hawks as the Blazers struggled to slow down Atlanta's starters and sixth man.
Bogdan Bogdanovic (left hamstring; soreness) who was initially listed as probable, found his shot early and often.
Atlanta was short-handed, though, on the perimeter with De'Andre Hunter (right knee; soreness) and Cam Reddish out.
The impact player for the Blazers on both ends early was Norman Powell. His aggressive play, dunks, rebounds, and active hands all provided the punch needed to get by the Hawks.
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard also picked up where they left off, scoring inside and out. Lillard and Enes Kanter had a strong two-man game going early as well.
With open looks from three, Bogdan Bogdanovic took advantage. Bogdanovic poured in seven of his nine three attempts as he led all scorers at the half with 23.
Atlanta’s three-point shooting and dominance on the glass, helped the Hawks take some separation in the third quarter. Danilo Gallinari got into the three-point action in the second half as the Blazers have seen him do time and time again. Portland gave Gallinari too much space throughout the game instead of making adjustments on the perimeter in the second half.
Trae Young’s playmaking was on full display. Young finished with 21 points and 11 assists.
Onyeka Okongwu stepped on Lillard's foot midway through the final period and was in some considerable pain, but after getting checked out during a timeout, he stayed in the game.
Between John Collins and Clint Capela, the Blazers bigs struggled to get things going.
Carmelo Anthony broke into the top 10 all-time in scoring early in the second quarter with his 11th point. Melo finished with 14.
The Hawks outrebounded the Blazers, 27-17 in the first half.
Next up: The Trail Blazers wrap up their six-game road trip in Atlanta on Monday. The Blazers and Hawks are set to tip-off at 4:30p.m. PT on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.