Atlanta fell behind early and hardly looked like a team that had just enjoyed two straight off days for the first time this season. Portland took an eight point lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 97-77 win over the Hawks.
Atlanta trailed 33-25 at the end of the first quarter in large part due to the play of Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge who returned to the lineup from a sprained ankle. Aldridge scored eight points and handed out three assists in the first quarter to get Portland off to a good start. Atlanta made just three baskets in the second quarter as Portland extended the lead to 52-37 at the half. Things didn't get any better in the second half as Portland was able to keep Atlanta at arms length to get out with the victory.
Joe Johnson scored 19 points to lead the Hawks while Willie Green added 17 off the bench. Josh Smith narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Marvin Williams added 10 points in just under 25 minutes of playing time.
Nicolas Batum led Portland with 22 points while LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton snapped out of his recent funk to score 14 points and hand out eight assists and Wesley Matthews added 13 points off the bench.
Atlanta's Jeff Teague clearly lost his matchup with Felton as he finished with just five points while going 1-10 from the field. Former Atlanta sixth man Jamal Crawford also had a peculiar night going scoreless in just over 13 minutes of action.
Portland hammered the Hawks on the boards 50-27 and built up a 18-6 advantage in second-chance points.
Atlanta's road trip continues on Monday with a rare weekday afternoon game against the Chicago Bulls.
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