Portland At Atlanta
When: 7:30 PM
ET, Friday, January 30, 2015
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Hawks have won a franchise-record 17 straight games and are showing no signs of slowing down, taking the first five games of their homestand by an average of 12.6 points. The Hawks will try to make it 18 straight when they host the slumping Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. The Trail Blazers have lost six of their last eight with Damian Lillard fighting through a shooting slump and LaMarcus Aldridge dealing with a thumb injury.
Portland’s biggest trouble came on the defensive end Wednesday, when Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving posted an NBA season-high 55 points while burying 11 3-pointers. “That was a great performance,” Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters. “I mean, with 55 points and the way he shot the ball, it was a great performance. The great ones do that every once in a while.” The Trail Blazers will need to tighten up the perimeter defense against Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, who leads the NBA in 3-point percentage.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN Northwest (Portland), SportSouth (Atlanta)
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (32-14): Aldridge was thought to be done for six weeks before deciding to put off surgery and play through the pain, and the standout forward went for 38 points and 11 rebounds in the 99-94 loss to the Cavaliers. “We’re trying to win,” Aldridge told reporters. “If I’m going to play, I’m going to play. If it gets hit, it’s going to hurt or whatever. But I’m going to play until it’s too much, and right now it’s not.” Aldridge put up 30 points and 12 rebounds against the Hawks on Jan. 3, but Portland fell 115-107.
ABOUT THE HAWKS (38-8): Korver went 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on Wednesday in a 113-102 win over the Brooklyn Nets but it was the frontcourt that shined as Paul Millsap and Al Horford combined to go 15-of-22 from the field. Millsap has posted 20 or more points in three straight games for the first time this season and displayed unusual aggressiveness when he got to the line 16 times in the win over the Nets. Atlanta has already set the franchise record for wins in a month with 15 and will play twice more before January closes.
1. Lillard is shooting 31.1 percent from the floor over the last six games.
2. The road team has taken four of the last five in the series, with the Trail Blazers earning a 100-85 win at Atlanta on Mar. 27, 2014.
3. Portland G Wesley Matthews (141) and Korver (140) are first and second in the NBA in made 3-pointers.
PREDICTION: Hawks 98, Trail Blazers 91
Stats and Records
Atlanta Off vs
103.6 Points For
97.2 Points Against