CJ McCollum had a 28-point, 10-assist, 10-rebound triple-double and Seth Curry scored 22 points as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Atlanta Hawks 120-111 on Saturday at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The Blazers were without leading scorer Damian Lillard, who sat with right knee soreness. Head coach Terry Stotts told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian and other reporters that Lillard will "hopefully" miss just one game.
Trae Young had 30 points and eight assists for the 15-33 Hawks. The 31-20 Blazers won their fifth game in six outings.
Playing Without Damian Lillard Isn't Excuse for Sleepwalking Against Hawks
The Hawks are fourth-last in the league in offensive efficiency and 19th in points per game, per ESPN.com. Atlanta is also a young and rebuilding team playing out the string this year with hopes of competing for the playoffs in future seasons.
Atlante entered the evening with a 7-19 road record and only one victory against a winning team away from its home arena. Meanwhile, the Blazers were fourth in the Western Conference with a 20-7 home record.
Yes, Portland ended up winning this game, but it was ugly.
Atlanta had 64 points in the first half and 90 through three quarters. The Hawks were down 101-100 midway through the fourth quarter and came up empty on two straight possessions where they could have taken the lead.
Young and John Collins also combined to go 19-of-27 from the field. Portland also committed 18 turnovers compared to the Hawks' 10.
Blazers beat reporter Casey Holdahl summed it up well:
Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Northwest also pointed out Portland's defensive issues: "[The Blazers] did not defend well, especially in the paint. Trae Young is not supposed to be a good shooter but he was in this game."
Young was shooting just 39.5 percent from the field entering the game. He went 11-of-15 on the night.
The Blazers offense didn't skip a beat against the Hawks, which is impressive considering that the team was without Lillard and then reserves Evan Turner and Nik Stauskas because of midgame injuries. Their scoring prowess alone should keep the Blazers safely in the playoff picture into April.
But the Blazers can't play defense like this if they are to make a serious playoff run. The top four Western Conference teams in offensive efficiency are all in position to make the postseason, so a defensive effort like the one on Saturday will lead to a quick playoff exit.
The Blazers host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The Hawks play the third matchup of a seven-game road swing on Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers.