Observations from the Hawks’ 104-89 win over the Trail Blazers

10:17 p.m Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 Homepage
Brett Davis/AP
Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) is defended by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)

The Atlanta Hawks trailed the Portland Trail Blazers by 11 in the first half of Saturday’s game, but rallied to win their third-straight home game, 105-89.

Here are a few things to know about the win:

Damian Lillard did not play

Due to a right hamstring injury, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard missed his fourth-straight game on Saturday against the Hawks.

Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before the game the team was waiting to hear if Lillard would be available after he warmed up, but the team later listed Lillard as out.

“The last two games we’ve really needed his scoring,” Stotts said before Saturday’s game.

Lillard was averaging 25.2 points, five rebounds and 6.4 assists before his injury.

Fourth quarter points scored

The Hawks scored 32 points in the fourth quarter and increased their lead to a game-high of 19 points over the Trail Blazers.

After a loss in Toronto on Friday night, Marco Belinelli said it felt good to bounce back.

“We played well together especially I think in the third and fouth quarters (and) we played really well on offense and defense,” Belinelli said.

Schroder picked up pace in second half

After struggling from the field in first half, Schroder scored _ points in the second half and gave the Hawks their first lead since early in the second quarter.

Schroder, who averaged 19.7 points per game entering Saturday, finished the win over the Trail Blazers with a team-high of 22 points, shooting 9-of-17 from the field.

“Dennis can put one of those spurts on you... When he gets a couple layups and a 3-pointer, that puts us up for the first time,” Budenholzer said. “You just felt like the momentum had shifted and he was a big part of that.”

Schroder started off the game sluggish, shooting  2-of-9 from the field for four points in the first half. On Friday night, Schroder shot 6-of-20 from the field for 14 points against Toronto. 

The four-year veteran tied his career-high of 33 points against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 23.

Hawks go on 10-2 run to start fourth quarter

After ending the third quarter on a 12-3 run, the Hawks went on a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter, putting the Hawks up, 82-71.

Out of the several runs on Saturday night, this run was one of the most essential in sealing the win.

The run was started off by a 3-pointer by Cavanaugh then a jumped by Belinelli.

Hawks went on a 12-3 run to end the third quarter

Thanks to seven points by Schroder and excellence defensive pressure, the Hawks went on a 12-2 run and regained the lead 72-69 to end the third quarter.

“I think the thing that probably stands out the most is the defense in the second half,” Budenholzer said. “I thought our guys were able to turn up the effort, the execution, the togetherness on the defensive end... I think the defense just kind of fueled us in the second half.”

The run also consisted of three points by Prince and two by Belinelli.

Prince had a team-high of 10 rebounds, all defensive.

The Trail Blazers shot 7-of-23 from the field and 1-of-7 beyond the arc in the third quarter.

Trail Blazers shot 55 percent from the field in second quarter

The Trail Blazers shot 11-of-20 from the field and 5-of-9 beyond the arc in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss to the Hawks.

Shabazz Napier made up for his technical foul on Hawks’ Isaiah Taylor and scored 11 points and had three assists in the second quarter.

The Hawks scored 22 points and shot 39.1 percent from the field in the second quarter compared to the Trail Blazers’ 29 points.
Budenholzer said he was proud of how the team hung with the Trail Blazers in the first half.

“We didn’t play very well in the first half, we were sluggish,” Budenholzer said. “Didn’t do a lot of things you need to do: 50/50 balls, passing and turnovers, but it was just a six-point game at halftime, so I think to hang close and find a way to be there and turn up in the second half. It’s a great win for our guys.”

Hawks led 24-23 entering second quarter

In the final 1:30 of the first quarter, two points apiece by Tyler Cavanaugh and Marco Belinelli and a 3-pointer by Isaiah Taylor gave the Hawks a 25-23 lead to start the second quarter.

Trail Blazers went on a 9-1 run earlier in the first quarter and took the lead 21-18 before the Hawks came back to regain the lead.

Hawks started the game with a 12-5 lead

The Hawks began Saturday’s game with a 12-5 lead thanks to five points by Ilyasova and three by Prince.

The Trail Blazers tied the game up at 17 over the next three minutes thanks to five points by C.J. McCollum and four by Jusuf Nurkic.

Belinelli steals, hits a 3-pointer 

One of the most aggressive plays of the game was by Belinelli near the end of the second quarter when the 6-foot-5 Italian stole the ball from Trail Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic and turned it into three points.

The score cut Portland’s lead 28-42 with 2:34 left in the first half.

Belinelli, who led the Hawks with 10 points in the first half, finished the game with 14 points, shooting 5-of-10 from the field and 2-of-4 beyond the arc.

Belinelli attempted a few dunks on Saturday, which Budenholzer said energized his teammates.

“I think he’s been great the past few games,” Budeholzer said. “That spark off the bench, the things he’s doing. It was great to watch him go try and dunk a couple times.”

Bazemore’s leadership with essential 

Bazemore’s aggression and leadership in the second half was essential for the win/in the tight game.

While the five-year veteran only scored 12 points, seven in the second half, his aggression in handling the ball and provided leadership to the bench was undeniable.

The Hawks (10-26) travel to play the Phoenix Suns Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.