ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 16: Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots over Gary Forbes #3 of the Toronto Raptors at Philips Arena on January 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Trail Blazers Vs. Hawks: Joe Johnson Leads Atlanta To Fourth Straight Win 92-89 Over Portland

Joe Johnson scored 24 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 92-89 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

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Trail Blazers Vs. Hawks Final Score: Atlanta Holds Off Portland 92-89

Jamal Crawford didn't disappoint in his return to Philips Arena but it was the Atlanta Hawks who captured their fourth straight win 92-89 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was a game of runs in Atlanta with the Hawks answering last. After taking a lead into halftime Portland immediately responded with a run to cut the lead to within two in the third quarter. However, Atlanta closed the quarter with a 14-0 run to once again give themselves some breathing room. Not to be undone, Portland started the fourth quarter with a 13-0 run and temporarily took the lead on a Jamal Crawford bucket.

Joe Johnson and Josh Smith quickly gave the Hawks the lead back and Portland never could overtake them down the stretch. Johnson had a big game for the Hawks finishing with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Josh Smith added 17 points and 11 rebounds while Jeff Teague finished with 13 points and five assists.

Atlanta also got solid contributions from Marvin Williams (12 points, eight rebounds) and Tracy McGrady (eight points, six rebounds) off the bench. Zaza Pachulia scored five points but grabbed 11 rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

Jamal Crawford led Portland with 22 points hitting 8-22 shots in the game. LaMarcus Aldridge finished with a double-double 20 points and 11 rebounds and Wesley Matthews added 10 points but was just 2-13 from the field.

The win was Atlanta's fourth straight without the injured Al Horford. The Hawks are back in action on Friday when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers.

For more on this game Hawks fans should head on over to Peachtree Hoops while Blazers fans should check out Blazersedge. For more news and analysis on the NBA be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA Page.

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Trail Blazers Vs. Hawks Score: Atlanta Leads Portland 51-42 At Halftime

The Atlanta Hawks closed the half with a 12-4 run to take a 51-42 lead over Jamal Crawford and the Portland Trail Blazers at halftime.

Getting balanced offensive distribution is becoming a calling card of the Atlanta Hawks this season. Joe Johnson started the game 0-6 but hit his last three shots of the half to lead the Hawks with 10 points. Marvin Williams had a solid first half with eight points and eight rebounds while Jannero Pargo gave Atlanta a spark off the bench with eight first-half points.

LaMarcus Aldridge leads the Blazers with 10 points and Jamal Crawford has eight off the bench in his return to Philips Arena. Craig Smith did a nice job inside in the first half with seven points.

Atlanta shot just under 57 percent in the first half and hit 3-4 of its attempts from beyond-the-arc. Portland shot just 36 percent in the first half but was 0-7 from downtown in the half.

For more on this game Hawks fans should head on over to Peachtree Hoops while Blazers fans should check out Blazersedge. For more news and analysis on the NBA be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA Page.

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Trail Blazers Vs. Hawks: Jason Collins To Start, Tracy McGrady Expected To Play

Larry Drew is opting to go with his big lineup and will insert Jason Collins into the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Collins will likely draw the matchup with the Trail Blazers Kurt Thomas.

This will be the second straight start for Collins since the injury to Al Horford. Zaza Pachulia started the first two games following Horford's injury.

Tracy McGrady returned to the Hawks lineup on Monday playing eight scoreless minutes in the first half against the Raptors. McGrady didn't return in the second half after reporting to Larry Drew that his back had stiffened up during halftime.

For more on this game Hawks fans should head on over to Peachtree Hoops while Blazers fans should check out Blazersedge. For more news and analysis on the NBA be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA Page.

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NBA MVP 2012 Power Rankings: If Only Josh Smith Could Keep This Up, No. 10 This Week

If Josh Smith keeps this up...every single Atlanta Hawks fans head would probably explode with sheer joy and happiness. Who knew that with Al Horford down, Josh Smith would decide to play some of his most inspired basketball to date?

Over the last week, Smith has put up a ridiculous line of 21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks a game. Yes, read that line again. He did that. The Hawks are now 3-0 without Horford and Smith feels confident that the doubters shouldn't doubt his team.

Josh Smith said when Al Horford went down for the regular season with a torn left pectoral muscle, he warned anyone that would listen that the Hawks would not just fold up shop and relinquish their position in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Three wins later and folks are finally starting to listen to the Hawks' enigmatic star, who pounded the Toronto Raptors for a game-high 28 points and a season-high 15 rebounds to propel the Hawks to a 93-84 Martin Luther King Jr. Day win at Philips Arena

SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranked Smith No. 10 on his MVP Rankings post this week, check out his thoughts:

10. Josh Smith Hawks 15.6 points on .505 TS%, 8.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.8 blocks --
The Pacers, Hawks and 76ers all deserve a spot on this list, but balanced attacks and strong team defenses tend to deflate the stocks of all. So we'll give the last spot to Josh Smith, who has been a good Atlanta team's best player to date. He's No. 2 on the team in scoring, No. 1 in rebounding, No. 3 in assists, No. 2 in steals and No. 1 in blocks. Basically, he's being very Josh Smith right now. If only he could improve his shooting percentages ...

The Hawks face the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday night. Can the Hawks keep this up along with Smith? We'll soon find out.

For more on this game Hawks fans should head on over to Peachtree Hoops while Blazers fans should check out Blazersedge. For more news and analysis on the NBA be sure to check out SB Nation's NBA Page.

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Jamal Crawford Returns To Atlanta As A Trail Blazer

After shedding his reputation as a selfish gunner in Atlanta, and winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award in the process, Jamal Crawford will return to Philips Arena for the first time since signing with the Portland Trail Blazers in the off-season.

The 6'6 185 bench scorer has slipped into a similar role in Portland, averaging 12.0 points and 3.2 assists on 34.2% shooting as a second-unit shot creator for the Trail Blazers.

Much like in Atlanta, Crawford is part of a balanced scoring attack behind All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, as five Trail Blazers -- Crawford, Gerald Wallace, Wesley Matthews, Nic Batum and Ray Felton -- all average between 10 and 15 points a night.

The Hawks bench, meanwhile, has thrived without Crawford thanks to the under-the-radar signings of several savvy veterans -- Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic, Willie Green and Ivan Johnson.

Portland and Atlanta are two of the deepest teams in the NBA, which may be why they are two of the league's biggest surprises as well, as the compressed 66-game regular season has made bench depth vital this season.

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Trail Blazers Vs. Hawks Time, TV Info, Radio And More

The Atlanta Hawks will be seeking their fourth straight win when they host the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night in Jamal Crawford's return to Philips Arena. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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