Hawks take their swings at Blazers in Rip City

The Atlanta Hawks will resume their five-game road trip in Rip City tonight against the struggling Portland Trail Blazers.

After opening their trek with a loss to the Lakers, the Hawks rebounded by winning a 101-99 thriller over the Phoenix Suns in the desert on Wednesday. Josh Smith scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in that one as Atlanta held off a run in the final minute to best the Suns.

Willie Green added 20 points, Jeff Teague netted 16 and Zaza Pachulia had 15 for the Hawks, who snapped a two-game skid.

"The game was really decided in the second half and we really played up to our ability," Smith said. "We played like we're supposed to be playing throughout the whole game."

Atlanta, which will also visit Chicago and New York on its trip, is now a solid 10-6 as the visitor on the season.

The Blazers lost their fourth straight home game on Thursday, falling to the Clippers 74-71. Nicolas Batum and Jamal Crawford led Portland with 19 points apiece in that one, while Wesley Matthews posted 16 points.

Raymond Felton didn't score in just over 24 minutes, finishing 0-for-7 from the floor for the Blazers, who were without injured star LaMarcus Aldridge (sprained left ankle) for a second straight game and squandered an 18-point lead in the third quarter.

"It's a collapse, a total collapse," said Crawford. "In the fourth quarter it felt like that we started playing like we were playing from behind and we were up. They became the aggressors."

Portland shot 10 for 34 from the field (29.4 percent) after halftime in what was the finale of a back-to-back-to back stretch.

"We didn't execute, of course, down the stretch," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "Their defense went to switching in the second half and some of those sets that we were getting early, they switched pretty much everything."

Aldridge last missed multiple games more than two years ago, when he also sat with a sprained left ankle. He's listed as day-to-day, according to the team's media notes.

Portland is now 11-5 at the Rose Garden after starting the season a gaudy 11-1 on its home floor. It hasn't dropped five consecutive home games since March 20-April 1, 2006.

The Hawks have won six straight over the Blazers, including a 92-89 win in the ATL back on Jan. 18. Atlanta has dropped nine of 12 games at the Rose Garden.