Jeff Teague had one of those games that remind you why the Atlanta Hawks used a first round pick on him last season.
Teague matched a career-high with 24 points and Joe Johnson moved ahead of Bob Pettit on the team's all-time assist list as the shorthanded Hawks posted a 91-82 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at Philips Arena.
Jamal Crawford had 20 off of the bench and Josh Smith added 14 points and 12 boards for Atlanta, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
"We had to (win)," Teague told the team's television broadcast afterward. "We lost our last four. We needed this one bad. We came out and played hard and got a win."
Boy did they ever. The Hawks dominated the paint, dominated the boards and dominated the game. They did this all without All-Star center Al Horford, who missed the game with a sore left ankle. Atlanta was also without F/C Josh Powell, who was arrested on a traffic charge and obstruction right near the arena before the game.
It didn't matter. Teague made Andre Miller look like an old man, holding him to one point on a free throw. Miller finished 0-for-8 from the field in nearly 34 minutes of action.
The Hawks shot 52-percent (40-for-77), held a 40-34 advantage on the boards and held the Blazers to 35-percent from the field (27-for-77). They did this all without Horford, their team leader.
"It's huge," Teague said. "Being without Al Horford, our all star, and being able to get a win, that's big."
Atlanta did it all with essentially an eight-man rotation and Kirk Hinrich in foul trouble. They also debuted a new lineup where Teague and Hinrich started at the guard, Johnson and Josh Smith at the forwards and Zaza Pachulia at the five.
But no one was bigger than Teague, who willed them in the game with seven quick points in the final 30 seconds of the first quarter. He also helped the Hawks erase a modest 38-35 deficit at the break.
"He gave it to me in a big way tonight," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "He was absolutely sensational. On both ends of the floor. Defensively, he did a great job picking the ball up, harassing the ball.
"His speed and his quickness is just something we don't have. When we put him in games, we rely on him to be a nuisance defensively. I'm hoping this will be a springboard for him."
Damien Wilkins had 12 points and Johnson added 11 for Atlanta, which avoided its first five-game losing streak since Feb. 8-20, 2008.