Atlanta Hawks took on the Portland Trail Blazers. In the first half Atlanta was in a groove, they were forcing turnovers getting good looks at the basket (unlike last game against the Clippers where they turned the ball over). The Hawks shot 51 percent at the end of the first half and led the game 56-47 at intermission.
The tables seemed to turn in the second half, the Trail Blazers were hitting shots and hitting the boards, while the Hawks seemed to go cold. J.J. Hickson and Nicolas Batum carried Portland in the third, while LaMarcus Aldridge led the charge in the fourth. The fight put up by the Trail Blazers would fall short due to Josh Smith providing effort and energy for Atlanta. It was not clear if Smith would even suit up tonight because he was fighting a stomach illness, but in the first half he helped the Hawks get up to a major lead and it seemed that he would not need to go back into the game after that. Once the game got tight and Portland had the momentum, Coach Larry Drew had to go back to his leader and Smith did not disappoint. Josh grabbed boards, got a key and one when the game was going back and fourth to help Atlanta get back on top. The Hawks went on to defeat the Trail Blazers by a score of 95-87.
Josh Smith led the way for Atlanta with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Korver shot his way to 16 points and Al Horford contributed 15 points and 10 boards. Jeff Teague added 13 points and eight assists and Lou Williams (also fighting illness) tossed in 11 points.
Batum and Hickson led Portland with 19 points, Hickson also had 18 rebounds to go with his scores. Wesley Matthews had 17 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Portland.
For the Hawks, Devin Harris was taken out of the game and did not return due to a hamstring injury. Up next for the Hawks as they continue their road trip are the Golden State Warriors.
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