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Hawks down Blazers behind hot shooting, 123-114

Bogdanovic and Gallinari caught fire in each half and lead the Hawks to a big victory of a playoff-caliber opponent.

Portland Trail Blazers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks (35-30) faced off against the Portland Trail Blazers (36-28) on Monday night in Atlanta. The home team entered as the No. 5 seed in the East, while their opponents are currently No. 7 in the West. The Hawks were without regular injury report inclusions Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter for this one. Portland was at full strength for this contest.

The Hawks handled the Blazers and dominated the majority of the game, winning 123-114.

The first quarter got off to a roaring start, with both teams shooting above 50% from the field for the majority of the frame. It was Bogdan Bogdanovic who powered the offense for the Hawks, missing only three shots and generating 11 points and two assists. It’s clear he’s playing at full confidence when he’s creating like this for himself and teammates.

But, the Trail Blazers were equally potent offensively, with Damian Lillard scoring seven points in the frame with CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony each pitching in six points. The Hawks held a one-point lead at the end of the quarter after a Solomon Hill fast break dunk, 32-31.

The beginning of the second quarter was all about Carmelo Anthony, who quickly scored six points on a pull-up jumper for two points as well as a four-point play, putting the Blazers up five points early.

But the Hawks fought back and were able to even the score at 37-37 on a Clint Capela layup. The game continued in a back and forth manner for most of the quarter. The Hawks did pull away a little, managing a six-point lead with 4:15 left in the first half. A lot of that was Bogdanovic.

The Hawks managed to hold that six-point lead into halftime at 68-62. Bogdanovic finished with seven made 3-pointers (a career high for a half) and 23 points (season high for points in a half) on 11 total shots. They shot 56% (24/43) in the half. Trae Young finished with 10 points in the half, but went 0/3 from the 3-point line.

Portland shot an impressive 46% (23/50) from the field, with Lillard continuing to lead the way with 18 points.

The Hawks scored two quick buckets at the beginning of the second half and pushed the lead to 11 at 73-62 at the 10:45 mark. They held that lead through the early stages of the third quarter, buoyed by some nice offense from John Collins.

However, the Blazers would not allow things to get much worse, getting the game back within two points at the 5:37 mark, behind ten points from Lillard over a four-minute stretch.

Atlanta was able to weather the storm, holding a 102-95 lead at the end of the quarter and riding a wave of 3-pointers; mostly from the hand of Danilo Gallinari who scored ten points on three 3-pointers.

Nate McMillan chose to go with the second unit to start the fourth quarter, they won the first four minutes of the fourth quarter 14-4, and the Hawks enjoyed a 116-99 lead with eight minutes left in the game. Gallinari continued his hot shooting from the previous frame.

Atlanta ran up a 20-point lead with five minutes left and that more or less stuck a fork in the Pacific Northwesterners for the night when they waved the white flag and brought in T.J. Leaf. Portland did make a late run, cutting the margin to single digits, but the game was more lopsided on the whole.

Gallinari led all Hawks scorers with 28 points, including 21 in the second half, after not scoring in the first quarter. He outpaced Bogdanovic, who scored only two points in the second half after finishing with 23 points before the break. Young and Capela both pitched in with double-double performances with 21 points and 11 assists for Young and 11 points and 10 rebounds for Capela.