Atlanta (35-23) at Portland (33-25)

By NOEY KUPCHAN, STATS Writer Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 Tipoff: 10:30 pm EST Sun Feb 27, 2011

Playing in only his second game back from a knee injury, Brandon Roy(notes) helped the Portland Trail Blazers move into sixth place in the Western Conference.

Gerald Wallace’s(notes) likely debut and Marcus Camby’s(notes) possible return should only make the Blazers stronger.

Looking for an eighth win in nine games overall, Portland will try to snap a three-game losing streak versus the Atlanta Hawks when the teams meet Sunday night at the Rose Garden.

Wallace, a 2010 All-Star, was acquired from Charlotte in exchange for Joel Przybilla(notes), Sean Marks(notes), Dante Cunningham(notes) and two first-round draft picks Thursday.

The Blazers (33-25) plan to use him off the bench initially, but he figures to give the team a strong defensive presence and a formidable third scoring option to go along with LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) and Roy.

“Whatever they need me to do, I’m willing to do,” said Wallace, who scored at least 19 points in six of his last nine games with the Bobcats.

After returning Wednesday from a two-month absence following arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees, Roy - a three-time All Star - sent Friday night’s matchup with Denver into overtime with a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining and registered 18 points off the bench in the 107-106 win.

“It felt good, just going through so much it’s always good to make a shot like that,” said Roy.

Camby has been out since partially tearing the meniscus in his left knee Jan. 17 but could return Sunday. His 11.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game lead the team.

Aldridge, among the NBA leaders with 28.6 points per game this month, put the Blazers up for good Friday, making two free throws with 23 seconds left in overtime. He finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

The Blazers have won seven of eight to climb the standings in the West, moving one game behind fifth-place New Orleans.

While Aldridge has averaged 20.3 points and 10.0 boards in his last four meetings with Atlanta, his individual numbers haven’t translated into much success for Portland. Since taking 13 of 14 in the series, the Blazers have lost three straight - including a 99-95 overtime defeat Nov. 16, 2009, as Joe Johnson(notes) recorded 35 points and nine assists for the Hawks.

Johnson is averaging 28.4 points in his last seven games against the Blazers, scoring at least 33 in four of them. The guard, though, scored just 12 in Friday night’s 95-79 win at Golden State and is averaging 11.4 points - 7.8 fewer than his season mark - in his last seven contests overall.

While Johnson had another quiet performance, teammates Josh Smith(notes) and Al Horford(notes) stepped up Friday, scoring 26 and 22 points, respectively, as Atlanta (35-23) snapped its three-game losing streak.

“It’s a little frustrating to me because I wish that we played like this all the time,” said Horford, who also had 13 rebounds and seven assists. “I hope there’s no looking back now.”

Smith, who has scored at least 26 points in five of his last eight games, has averaged 2.4 blocks against Portland over his career. The Hawks are 24-6 this season when he registers at least two.

Kirk Hinrich(notes) and Hilton Armstrong(notes), who were traded to the Hawks as part of a five-player deal with Washington on Wednesday, made their debuts Friday. Hinrich had eight points while Armstrong went scoreless in limited action.

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Sunday, Feb 27