The Atlanta Hawks added another signature win to the ledger Saturday night with an impressive 115-107 road win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Hawks looked like they might be in trouble early on the second night of a back-to-back against a well rested Blazers squad. Portland jumped out of the gates quickly building an early 8-0 lead. After an early Mike Budenholzer time out, the Hawks clamped down defensively and came roaring back with a 24-9 run to take the momentum.
Atlanta forced the issue defensively forcing turnovers and turning them into points at the other end. Portland was able to stay in the game thanks to some hot three-point shooting in the early going, otherwise it could have been a rout early.
The Hawks took control in the second half and pushed the lead to 20 points before Portland would make another run. Atlanta was able to keep Damian Lillard in check for most of the night but his long three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer pulled the Blazers to within 83-75.
Atlanta set the tone early in the fourth. Pero Antic began the quarter with an old fashioned three-point play and Al Horford buried a jumper to push the lead back to 13. The Hawks had an answer every time Portland threatened. Things got close again late thanks to some shaky foul shooting by Atlanta but a pair of free throws by Thabo Sefolosha with 23.7 remaining put the game away for good.
Paul Millsap led seven different Hawks in double figures with 27 points. Jeff Teague was crucial down the stretch and turned in another nice performance with 22 points and six assists. Kyle Korver hit four three-pointers on his way to 14 points. Sefolosha was huge off the bench for Atlanta finishing with 13 points and a team best 12 rebounds. Atlanta shot 51 percent from the field in the game and piled up a season best 64 points in the paint.
LaMarcus Aldridge did all he could to keep the Blazers close with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Wesley Matthews added 19 while Lillard finished with 16 points on 7-18 shooting.
The game is another signature win for the Hawks who are the first Eastern Conference team this season to go into Portland and come away with a victory. Atlanta sweeps the back-to-back and will wrap up the road trip in Los Angeles on Monday against the Clippers.