Hawks welcome Trail Blazers to Philips Arena
(Sports Network) – Having snapped a lengthy losing streak to Portland in
December, the Atlanta Hawks will try to make it two wins in a row over the
club this evening when they host the Trail Blazers at Philips Arena.
Atlanta had lost its previous nine games to Portland before a 107-96 road win
over the Trail Blazers on December 3. Joe Johnson scored 33 points, grabbed
six rebounds and had six assists in the win, but won’t be on the floor tonight
as he remains out indefinitely due to a bruised right calf.
The Hawks had a five-game home winning streak ended on Wednesday after a 91-83
setback to Miami. Josh Smith led the way for Atlanta with 27 points, nine
rebounds and four blocked shots. Marvin Williams added 16 points and 12 boards
as the Hawks lost for the third time in four games and fell to 1-1 on a four-
game homestand that wraps against Dallas on Sunday.
Atlanta is 15-19 as the host this season and is four games out of a playoff
spot in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the setback in December, Portland has still won 13 of its last 16
meetings with Atlanta, including four in a row at Philips Arena. The team has
been less successful against the rest of the NBA, though, as they are also
four games out of a playoff spot but would have to jump over five teams to
move into the eighth spot.
The Trail Blazers did manage to win their second game in a row on Thursday
despite not having leading scorer and rebounder Zach Randolph, who was granted
bereavement leave by the team on Monday. He is not expected to play tonight
Instead, rookie Brandon Roy picked up the missing scoring with 24 points to
lift Portland over New York, 92-86. Jarrett Jack added 15 points and Jamaal
Magloire netted 14 points and tied a season high with 16 rebounds for the
Trail Blazers, who kicked off a four-game road swing with the win and are
12-21 as the visitor this season.
Portland will also travel to Minnesota and Chicago on the trek.