Published November 13, 2012
| Sports Network
Portland, OR – Josh Smith poured in 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks escaped with a 95-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at Rose Garden.
Kyle Korver scored 16 points on 5-of-8 from the floor, Al Horford added 15 points and 10 boards and Jeff Teague contributed 13 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who snapped a brief two-game slide. Louis Williams donated 11 points and four steals in the triumph.
J.J. Hickson netted 19 points and ripped down 18 boards, while Nicolas Batum contributed 19 points and seven rebounds in the setback for the Blazers, who have lost four straight. Wesley Matthews donated 17 points, including 10- for-10 from the free throw line, in defeat.
"I don't know what it is, but whatever it is we have to sniff it out and find the source of the problem and fix it," Hickson said of his team's struggles.
Trailing by 11 with 9:40 to play, the Blazers ripped off a 15-2 surge to take an 82-80 lead with 5:40 on the clock.
The teams traded buckets over the next few possessions before Horford drained a 7-foot hook shot with 2:08 to go, putting Atlanta ahead 89-87.
The short jumper proved to be the deciding basket as Portland missed its final four attempts from the floor and the Hawks were able to ice the game with a layup and a pair of free throws by Teague and Korver in the final minute.
"Once we settled down we were able to get some easy baskets, but there was a stretch there where they really got after us and we turned the ball over a couple times and they made some shots," Hawks coach Larry Drew said of the Blazers comeback.
Atlanta got off to a fast start, racing out to a comfortable 20-7 advantage with just over six minutes to play in the first stanza.
The Blazers responded with a 10-2 spurt, cutting the deficit to 22-17, but the Hawks held a 28-22 margin after the opening 12 minutes.
Atlanta continued its hot shooting, opening the second quarter with a 13-4 flurry to build its advantage back to 15 with 8:43 to play in the first half.
A deep 3-pointer by Batum with 5:20 left capped an 11-2 Portland run, cutting the deficit to six, but the Hawks held a 56-47 advantage at halftime.
A hook shot by Smith early in the third quarter put the Hawks ahead by 12, but Portland answered with an 11-4 push to cut the Atlanta lead to 68-63 with 3:47 on the third quarter clock.
The Hawks though, netted seven of the final 11 points in the frame to take a 75-67 lead into the final 12 minutes.
Monday marked the first meeting of the season between the teams. They split two meetings last season ... Hawks guard Devin Harris left the game in the second quarter due to a left hamstring strain ... Atlanta shot 44.3 percent from the field while holding Portland to 36.1 percent ... Blazers guard Damian Lillard netted 12 points.