Kevin C. Cox
Josh Smith finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks snapped a two game losing streak with a 95-87 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Atlanta Hawks come up with a gritty 95-87 win over the Portland Trail Blazers to snap a two-game losing skid and even their west coast road trip at 1-1. Atlanta capitalized off of turnovers by the Blazers early and controlled the first half. Portland did a much better job of taking care of the basketball after halftime while Atlanta's offense grew stagnant for long stretches.
The Trail Blazers eventually erased a 15 point second half lead and took the lead in the fourth quarter. However, Josh Smith hooked up with Al Horford for a pair of baskets and then got Atlanta the ball back by taking a charge on LaMarcus Aldridge. Jeff Teague scored on a drive to put Atlanta up 91-87 and they would never lose control of the game again.
Smith finished with a team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Korver finished with 16 points while Al Horford logged a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Teague pitched in 13 points and eight assists while Lou Williams led Atlanta's scorers off the bench with 11 points.
J.J. Hickson turned in a stellar night finishing with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Nicolas Batum added 19 of his own while Wes Matthews chipped in 17. LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 14 points and a career-high eight assists. Rookie Damian Lillard scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half.