The Hawks began a five-game trip out West with a disheartening 124-113 overtime to the Trail Blazers.
Trae Young had 35 points and 10 assists for Atlanta (3-6), which has now lost three straight games.
The Hawks were missing a few players. Evan Turner missed his sixth game with an Achilles issue while Allen Crabbe was dressed but did not play. Vince Carter was not with the team because of personal reasons.
Below are some takeaways from the loss:
1. Based off the ho-hum first half, you’d never have guessed this one would have a thrilling fourth quarter and head to overtime. The game picked up in the third quarter and was tied, 75-75, going into the fourth. A corner three by Kevin Huerter, who had a quiet game entering the fourth, tied the score at 105-105 with 27.9 seconds to play. His clutch layup — with Young guarded heavily — sent it to overtime tied at 107-107.
But the Hawks faded quickly in overtime, with the Blazers outscoring them, 17-6. Former Hawk Kent Bazemore hit two quick 3s to energize the Blazers, who never trailed after regulation.
“I’ve got to watch the film and see some of our breakdowns,” coach Lloyd Pierce said of the Hawks’ overtime struggles. “They just had a different spirit and we got caught in a couple (crowded) plays and shots don’t go down.”
2. This was Huerter’s first game in the starting lineup this season. Rookie Cam Reddish’s spot had been starting while Huerter worked his way back from right knee issues. Huerter had three points going into the fourth quarter but finished with 15. Young (who had his fourth 30-point game of the season with 35 points and 10 assists) said of Huerter’s surge: “Very clutch. I’m happy he was able to get a couple shots going and it was good to see. They were denying me hard, not letting me get the ball back, and it was good seeing him come up big in those moments.”
3. Pierce often calls Jabari Parker a "professional scorer," and he's not wrong. Parker finished with 27 points and has stepped up offensively in John Collins' absence due to suspension. Entering the fourth quarter, Young and Parker accounted for 49 of the Hawks' 75 points. But in this game, Parker did more than score, adding a career-high four blocked shots — the Hawks had eight blocks total — and pulling down a season-best 10 rebounds.
That’s not quite enough for him though: “I can’t say I’m reaching my expectations if we aren’t winning ... Just trying to keep that mentality and hopefully we bounce back against Denver,” Parker said.
4. With some red-hot teams in the West remaining on this road trip, this was likely the Hawks’ best chance for a win, with Denver, Phoenix and then the Clippers and Lakers awaiting. Their fate isn’t sealed, of course, but there’s certainly some stiff competition coming up for the Hawks, who fall to 3-6.
5. Allen Crabbe, who underwent right knee arthroscopy on April 4, was officially listed as “available” for the game, even though Pierce had said he’d only use Crabbe in an emergency situation. Still, that’s a good sign of Crabbe’s progress. He hopes to be able to play at some point on this West Coast road trip, which would help the Hawks’ rotation. “It’s good,” Crabbe said of his knee. “Made a lot of progress. I’ve been doing some 5-on-5 in practice and stuff. So it feels good. It feels like it’s headed in the right direction. But you know, just want to make sure I’m 100% ready to go. Just don’t want any setbacks.”
By the Numbers
30 (the amount of points Damian Lillard scored for Portland, two days after scoring 60 on the Nets in a loss)
“They started out every quarter pretty good, on a run, and the same thing happened at the end of the game in overtime. They started out on a run and it was too late to catch back up.”
— Young on Portland’s fast start in overtime to take the lead