EditorsNote: Adds missing word in 2nd graf
Outscoring the Atlanta Hawks 17-6 in the overtime period, the Portland Trail Blazers broke a four-game losing streak with a 124-113 home victory Sunday night.
Kent Bazemore, the former Hawk traded to Portland in the offseason, catalyzed the Blazers offense in the extra period, scoring the first six points on a pair of 3-pointers. He finished with 13 points and took on the difficult task of guarding Atlanta guard Trae Young, who scored a team-high 35 points but shot just 9-of-30 from the field.
Damian Lillard led Portland with 30 points, supplemented by 23 from CJ McCollum, 21 points and 12 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside and 20 points off the bench from Anfernee Simons. Atlanta got 27 points and 11 rebounds from Jabari Parker and 15 from Kevin Huerter.
The latter minutes of the fourth quarter had no shortage of drama, with Blazers coach Terry Stotts succeeding on a coach’s challenge once again.
A foul on Whiteside against a driving Young was overturned with 1:09 to go, giving Portland the ball with a one-point lead. After McCollum hit a step-back, mid-range jumper to give Portland a three-point lead, Huerter shed the defense of McCollum and hit a corner 3-pointer to tie the game at 105 with 27.9 seconds left.
Lillard’s euro step layup with 7.6 seconds left would have been the game-winner were it not for Huerter’s sweeping layup with .7 seconds left, which sent the game to overtime.
The teams played a sluggish first half, with neither offense able to find a rhythm. Portland led 46-44 at the break despite shooting 33 percent compared to Atlanta’s 34 percent.
Young, who started 4-of-15 from the field and had 15 points at the break, doubled his point total with a hot third quarter. He was nearly matched shot for shot by Simons, however, who scored 12 points in the third and gave Portland a much-needed offensive boost with Lillard on the bench.
Atlanta opened its five-game, West Coast road trip with a loss and plays at Denver on Tuesday. Portland will travel to Sacramento on Tuesday before returning home to face Toronto on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media