After blowing out the Portland Trail Blazers in their last matchup in Atlanta, the Hawks traveled to the Pacific Northwest to face off against Damian Lillard and the Blazers once again Friday night. Portland didn’t receive losing to the Hawks very well and the Hawks were seemingly determined to prove that they can play with anyone in the NBA after a disappointing loss on Tuesday.
Atlanta’s inactives for Friday’s game included Dewayne Dedmon, who has been sidelined with a stress reaction in his left tibia and could be out possibly another week. DeAndre’ Bembry is with the team but will not play as he continues his rehab from a “left groin strain”.
The game started quickly with Hawks starting center Miles Plumlee catching a lob from Dennis Schroder to get things rolling. Overall, Plumlee played very well in the first quarter, getting a couple of deflections and keeping himself clean in the turnover department. The quarter did slow down for the Hawks on the offensive end as it felt like they could not get past the 12-point mark for an eternity. Marco Belinelli came in and gave the Hawks a couple of buckets to draw slightly closer but the Hawks took an 8-point deficit into the second quarter, 30-22.
In the second quarter, the Hawks did some good work to get their defense back under control, but the offense still wasn’t doing much of anything. Dennis Schroder got his game going with a couple of nice midrange jumpers on the offensive end and some nice hustle plays on defense. Taurean Prince had a mini-run of his own midway through the quarter. The Blazers closed on a good note with consecutive jumpers to hold onto their lead going into the half up 52-46.
The third quarter was not a great one for the Hawks once again as the Hawks offense was just trying to match shots with the defense lacking. The Hawks offense looked tired and slow all night long with the Blazers taking advantage of sloppy turnovers. Malcolm Delaney was a bright spot for the Hawks in the third as he really showed up on both ends of the floor to keep the Hawks within shouting distance, but it was just not enough as the Hawks gave up yet another 30-point quarter to take a rough 82-68 hole into the fourth.
Things really got out of hand in the fourth quarter for the Hawks as they gave up a 9-0 run to open the quarter before rookie Tyler Dorsey finally scored. Both coaches ended up clearing the benches with just under seven minutes to go in the game which cleared the way for Mike Muscala’s first playing time in months after his long recovery. Dorsey got extended time and played pretty well in that time showing off his ball handling skills and long-range ability.
The Hawks will be back in action on Sunday for a tilt in Los Angeles with the Lakers. Stay tuned.