A few days ago, the Atlanta Hawks were trying to shake off the tag of being the last winless NBA team.
Now, they’re shooting for a season-high third straight victory as they host the Portland Trail Blazers at Philips Arena.
Atlanta got off to a franchise-worst 0-9 start after managing only 13 victories last season. The Hawks also failed to score 100 points during their losing streak.
Two days later, the Hawks pulled a much bigger upset, posting an 87-85 road triumph over the Indiana Pacers.
Harrington again led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds as the Hawks made it two wins in a row for the first time since April 2004. They also ended a seven-game road losing streak dating to last season despite shooting just 36 percent from the field.
“It’s great for us to come in here and beat a team like this,” Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said after his team posted its first non-overtime road win since last Dec. 10.
“These last two games we haven’t cracked, and hopefully that’s a sign of maturity.”
Atlanta came very close to ending its season-opening losing streak much earlier. The Hawks visited the Blazers on Nov. 5 with an 0-2 mark and forged a 93-93 tie with 17 seconds to play on Joe Johnson’s layup.
However, Zach Randolph made a free throw with 0.2 seconds remaining as Portland won its eighth straight over Atlanta.
The Blazers are 1-3 on their seven-game road trip, including Friday’s 104-89 setback to the Orlando Magic. Darius Miles scored 23 points and Joel Pryzbilla added a season-high 15 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, which has dropped two straight and four of five overall.
“The bottom line is we didn’t play good basketball,” said Portland coach Nate McMillan.
Second-year point guard Sebastian Telfair continued his steady progress with 20 points, eight assists and no turnovers. The former high school star from Brooklyn, N.Y., has shown flashes of brilliance this season, scoring at least 20 points in three of his last five games.
He has managed only five points combined in the other two games in that stretch.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 26): Trail Blazers - 4th place (tied), 2 1/2 GB, Northwest Division. Hawks - 5th place, 4 GB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Trail Blazers - Miles, 19.7 ppg; Randolph, 9.5 rpg; Telfair, 4.5 apg. Hawks - Johnson, 17.9 ppg and 4.7 apg; Pachulia, 9.7 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Trail Blazers, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 5; Trail Blazers, 94-93. At Portland, Ore., Randolph paced the Blazers with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Johnson had 23 points and seven assists for the Hawks.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Trail Blazers - 1-5 on the road; Hawks - 1-3 at home.