Sunday , Dec , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Johnson leads Hawks past Trail Blazers

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Joe Johnson scored 33 points, grabbed six
rebounds and had six assists, as Atlanta ended a nine-game losing streak to
Portland after downing the Trail Blazers, 107-96, at the Rose Garden.

Johnson hit the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game, while Tyronn Lue
added 19 points and hit some big shots down the stretch for the Hawks, who
also ended a seven-game losing streak at the Rose Garden.

Josh Smith netted 13 points and secured 12 rebounds for the Hawks.

Zach Randolph dropped 30 points — 11 in the fourth quarter — and Martell
Webster had 18 for Portland, which wrapped up a four-game homestand 0-4.

It was the Trail Blazers fifth straight defeat overall.

Ahead by eight after the half, a three-point play by Zaza Pachulia staked the
Hawks to a 10-point lead and a free throw by Smith stretched that lead to
72-61 with 8:26 remaining in the third quarter.

A layup by Jarrett Jack cut Portland’s deficit to 76-68, but six straight
points — four by Lue — pushed the Hawks edge to 82-68 with 2 1/2 minutes
left.

A three-pointer from Salim Stoudamire with 59 seconds to go gave Atlanta a 17-
point lead, but Sergio Rodriguez capped the frame’s scoring with a jumper to
send the Trail Blazers into the fourth down 87-72.

Six straight points by Randolph in the fourth pulled Portland to within 89-80
just 3:15 into the frame and after a free throw by Speedy Claxton, Juan Dixon
sunk a technical free throw and a Randolph layup made it a 90-83 game with
7:53 to go.

Atlanta was able to hold off the rally as back-to-back jumpers by Lue put the
Hawks up 13 at 101-88 with 2:59 to play.

Portland cut it to 103-96 with 57 seconds to go and Atlanta hit only one of
its next four free throw attempts to keep the door open. However, Claxton came
up with a steal, was fouled, and hit 1-of-2 to make it 105-96 with 36 ticks
left.

Atlanta led by as many as nine in the opening period and a Johnson jumper put
the Hawks up 21-13 with under two minutes left. Portland, though, netted nine
of the frame’s final 13 points as Randolph pulled the Trail Blazers to within
25-22 on a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the first.

Portland got as close as two early in the second frame and got within three of
Atlanta multiple times in the frame, but the Hawks had an answer each time and
led 60-52 at the half.

Game Notes

Portland has lost 10 of its last 12 games and will open a season-high six-game
road trip on Tuesday at Detroit…This was the start of a five-game road trip
for Atlanta…It was the Hawks’ first win against Portland since
2002…Rodriguez dished out a career-high 11 assists…Pachulia ended with 12
points.

ATL POR