The Atlanta Hawks had won five games in a row after beating the Raptors on March 18, and the vibe around the team seemed positive. Here we are a week later and things have taken a turn for the worse. Coming into Thursday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Hawks had lost four straight games, and Kyle Korver had missed all of those. Those agonies continued Thursday night as the Blazers came into Atlanta and won 100-85, giving the Hawks their fifth straight loss.
Korver was ruled out in this one, as was Pero Antic, and the Hawks offense struggled because of it. They shot just 4-of-22 from beyond the arc, and the offense would be the deciding factor in this one. The Hawks were one-of-seven in games without Korver, and it is clear that they could find themselves on the outside looking in if he doesn’t return soon.
Portland got LaMarcus Aldridge back, and he proved to be too much for Atlanta. Aldridge dropped 25 points and 16 rebounds, and he led six Blazers players in double figures.
Atlanta’s point guard Jeff Teague broke out of the issues he struggled with in Minnesota, and was aggressive all night against Portland. He dropped 22 points, and led the Hawks in scoring. Lou Williams added 16 off the bench, DeMarre Carroll and Elton Brand had 11, and Paul Millsap had a quiet 10 points on the night. The ball movement wasn’t there, either. They had just 17 assists, which is low for this team. They had 19 personal fouls in comparison.
The Hawks battled in the third quarter, but Portland was just too much. They lost their fifth straight game, 100-85.
The Knicks are now just 1.5 games behind Atlanta in the playoff race, and the Hawks travel to Washington to take on the Wizards on Saturday night — which should be considered a must-win.