Hawks Soar Over the Blazers

-----Paul Milsap scored 21 points including a game-tying shot at the end of regulation as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime 112-107 Monday night at the Moda Center.

In their first game without Mason Plumlee, who was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday in exchange for Jusuf Nurkic, the Trail Blazers once again failed to hold on to an early lead as the Hawks stormed back in the second half.

The Blazers jumped out to a 28-21 lead at the end of the first quarter after shooting 5-for-13 from three point range. The Blazers continued to control the game in the second quarter holding a 48-42 halftime lead.

The Hawks came out strong in the second half. Tim Hardaway Jr. Scored 12 of his team-high 25 points in the third quarter as the Hawks shot 57.9% from the field and outscored the Blazers 33-26 to take a one point lead at 75-74 enter the the final period.

The Blazers led by five at 90-85 with 3:18 to play and once again by four at 95-91 with 1:53 to play after free throws and a driving layup by CJ McCollum, but the Blazers were unable to closeout the game.

The Hawks got one last chance with 2.2 seconds remaining in the game after they forced a missed shot by McCollum. Paul Milsap hit a runner at the buzzer to tie the game 97-97 forcing overtime.

The overtime period was a series of runs by both teams. The Blazers scored the first seven-points of the extra period to take a 104-97 lead, but the Hawks responded by scoring eight-straight to take a 105-104 lead with 40.3 seconds left in the game.

The Blazers had a chance to take the lead with 12.7 seconds remaining, but Damian Lillard slipped on his way to the rim resulting in a turnover. Paul Milsap would end up hitting two free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining to give Atlanta a 107-104 lead, but another Blazers turnover and foul prevented a potential game-tying three point shot. 

The Blazers missed their final eight shots from the field in the overtime period as the Hawks closed the game out on a 12-0 run.

Atlanta (32-23) was lead by Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored a team-high 25 points to lead a balanced effort from their starters. Dwight Howard scored 19 points and pulled down 16 rebounds while Dennis Schroder added 22 points.

Portland (23-32) got a game-high 26 points from CJ McCollum and 21 points from Damian Lillard. Al-Farouq Aminu continued his hot play scoring a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Meyers Leonard got the start at center tonight, he finished with just two-points on 1-for-7 shooting including 0-for-6 from three point range.

Notes:

The Blazers latest addition, Jusuf Nurkic, who was acquired from the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, was at the Moda Center on Monday to meet with the media and then watched the game from the Blazers bench. He was not in uniform, but there is a good chance he will play Wednesday in Utah against the Jazz before the All Star break.

The Blazers dominated the glass tonight by out-rebounding the Hawks 66-52 including 22 offensive rebounds.

Atlanta controlled the game at the foul line shooting 37-for-48, a season high in both attempts and makes while the Blazers converted just 14-for-25.

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