PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Zach Randolph’s work on his outside shot is paying off.
“I’ve been working on that shot the whole summer and I haven’t had a chance to show it,” he said. “So if I’m open I’m going to shoot it.”
The Blazers led by as many as 11 points in the first half but struggled through the second, even briefly surrendering the lead when Shareef Abdur-Rahim’s jumper put the Hawks ahead 62-60.
The Blazers regained the lead, but never put Atlanta away. The Hawks pulled to within 86-83 on Stephen Jackson’s 3-pointer with 1:25 left, but Portland hung on for the final margin.
Abdur-Rahim had 18 points and five rebounds to lead Atlanta.
“We lost. That’s about all I have to say,” Abdur-Rahim said.
The Hawks were coming off a 99-72 loss at Golden State on Wednesday and are still looking for their first road win of the season. The Hawks were just 9-32 away from home last season.
The Blazers, coming off a 100-82 loss at Seattle, jumped out to an early 19-12 lead on Randolph’s 16-foot jumper and went on lead 51-42 at halftime.
Randolph had 15 points and six rebounds in the first half, finding success against Atlanta’s zone defense with that outside shot. Randolph’s final point total was his highest of the season.
“Our execution against the zone was not good, but we scored when we needed to,” Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said.
But the Blazers squandered the lead in the second half, and the Hawks closed to within 57-55 on Jason Terry’s 14-foot jumper. Abdur-Rahim tied it at 60 with a 3-pointer, before his jumper gave the Hawks the lead.
The Blazers tied it again on Jeff McInnis’ jumper before Randolph’s layup gave them the lead. McInnis came off the bench to score 21 points for the Blazers.
The Hawks made just two of 20 3-point attempts.
“A lot of times you learn more from losing than you do from winning. We learn again what we have to do and we can get good at and what we have to improve on,” Hawks coach Terry Stotts said.
Wells got knocked to the ground late in the first half by Atlanta’s Dion Glover, and did not start the second half because of a bruised left shoulder.
Just in case, the Blazers activated rookie forward Travis Outlaw from the injured list before the game.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound 18-year-old was placed on the injured list at the start of the season with tendinitis in both knees. Outlaw, the 23rd pick inthis year’s draft out of Mississippi’s Starkville High School, did not play.
The Hawks had lost their last four visits to Portland dating to a 99-90 win in 1997. … The Hawks activated Dan Dickau off the injured list, but he did not play. Dickau missed the first five games of the season with Achilles’tendinitis. … San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia attended the game.