Portland Trail Blazers 82 – Atlanta Hawks 91


ATLANTA — Hawks coach Larry Drew always knew Jeff Teague had plenty of talent.

The question was how Drew would use Teague this season and how the second-year guard would perform with minutes often scarce.

“He gave it to me in a big way tonight,” Drew said. “He was sensational from start to finish on both ends of the floor.”

Teague matched a career high with 24 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 and Atlanta snapped a four-game slide with a 91-82 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 and Wesley Matthews finished with 19 for Portland, which has lost two straight following a four-game winning streak.

The Hawks were without starting center Al Horford because of a sprained ankle and reserve forward Josh Powell, who was arrested before the game on traffic charges not far from Philips Arena.

All of Crawford’s points came in the second half on 8 for 14 shooting.

Drew started Zaza Pachulia in Horford’s spot and benched forward Marvin Williams in favor of Teague at shooting guard. Joe Johnson moved to the No. 3 guard spot.

Josh Smith finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta. Hawks point guard Kirk Hinrich went scoreless in four attempts from the field, playing just under 16 minutes, but Teague filled the void in the backcourt.

“I’ve never stopped believing in this kid because I see what the package is with him,” Drew said. “He can make shots. He’s got speed. He’s got quickness. He can go from end to end. Defensively, he can be a nuisance.”

Teague, a first-round draft pick in 2009, was making just his eighth start in 127 career games, but gave the Hawks a big lift by scoring six points in the last 9.2 seconds of the first quarter.

“I just wanted to get up there and put some pressure on, try to overplay the passing lane and make something happen,” Teague said. “I got my hands on a couple of balls and got lucky.”

After hitting a pair of free throws, Teague knocked the ball away from Patrick Mills at midcourt and drove for an uncontested dunk, then stole the ensuing inbound pass and hit a 3 for a 19-18 lead.

“That’s a tough run, but it’s the early part of the game,” Matthews said. “We still had three quarters left to try to regroup, try to put the team away. But we couldn’t. Jeff Teague had a great game. He was finding the passing lanes. He was really active and caused a problem for us.”

Teague, who was 11 for 17 from the field, played 44 minutes, 10 more than his season high. He also had five steals and three blocked shots.

“I’m a laid-back person, but I always try to play with emotion and with a chip on my shoulder,” said Teague, who first scored 24 points last April 14 against Cleveland.

Portland matched its biggest lead at seven on Marcus Camby’s dunk at the 10:32 mark of the third, but the Hawks went on a 44-19 run that ended with Pachulia’s dunk with 5:27 left in the game.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan thought his team was winded coming off a five-point loss Friday at Charlotte.

“That’s what it looks like,” McMillan said. “I mean we were missing shots like crazy. I thought they made the effort. Two things that were keys to the game, making shots and taking care of the ball, we didn’t do.”

Atlanta had gone 1-5 since winning 90-83 on Feb. 27 at Portland.

Blazers guard Brandon Roy scored 16 points, playing in his ninth game since double-knee surgery forced him to miss 30.

Powell, 28, was arrested late in the afternoon for refusing to move his car for an oncoming ambulance. He was not at the game, according to Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche, who said the team was aware of Powell’s arrest but withholding comment.

Game notes
The Hawks have won five straight over the Blazers. … Pachulia finished with six points and six rebounds. … Gerald Wallace pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds for the Blazers. … Williams scored four points in 23 minutes.

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