Hawks' 17-game win streak faces stiff test vs. Blazers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks' win streak is getting out of hand.

The Hawks haven't lost since Dec. 26 versus the Milwaukee Bucks and are riding a franchise-record 17-game winning streak.

Atlanta looks to keep the good times rolling Friday versus the Portland Trail Blazers in the continuation of a seven-game homestand. The Hawks handed the Brooklyn Nets a 113-102 setback Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

Paul Millsap totaled 28 points and 15 rebounds, Jeff Teague finished with 13 points and 11 assists, and Al Horford added 20 points and 10 boards for the Hawks, who have won eight in a row at home and are 21-3 as the host. The Eastern Conference-leading Hawks scored 64 first-half points.

All three were named reserves for the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday.

"We play like we should win every night," said Hawks forward Kyle Korver, who made five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. "It's a confident group. We feel like we have a good team and if we approach the game the right way, we absolutely should go in and win."

The Hawks matched their win total from last season (38) and are 31-2 in the past 33 games. The 15 wins in January set a new franchise record.

Philadelphia will visit the Hawks on Saturday. Atlanta is averaging 103.6 points and 26.2 assists, and is allowing 96.3 ppg on defense. It is an unselfish bunch, which is why the Hawks have the best record in the East.

At 38-8, Atlanta is 30 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season (56-26).

The Trail Blazers may be going through a rough patch, but they can still give the red-hot Hawks a game.

Portland began a three-game eastern sojourn with Wednesday's 99-94 loss to Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving piled up a career-high 55 points on 17-of-36 shooting, including an 11-of-19 clip from 3-point range.

"He played great," Blazers guard Damian Lillard said of Irving. "I've seen him get on streaks before, but usually they're mid-range pull-ups and nice layups, not 11 3s. He's in a good rhythm."

LeBron James sat with a sore wrist.

Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who opted to put off thumb surgery on his non-shooting hand, recorded 38 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Lillard had 14 points and Wesley Matthews was the other double-digit scorer with 11 points for Portland, which lost for the sixth time in eight tries.

The Blazers are 12-9 away from Rip City and will close the junket Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Portland has lost four in a row on the road.

Portland is 23-4 when scoring 100-plus points and 25-3 when holding the opponent to under 100 points.

Atlanta defeated Portland, 115-107, on the road Jan. 3 and was led by Millsap's 27 points. Teague scored 22 points in that one and Aldridge countered with 30 points and 12 rebounds. The Blazers had won three straight and four of five against the Hawks.

Portland is unbeaten in two straight trips to Philips Arena and 18-4 against the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has a 12-2 record (7-1 at home) versus opponents from the West.