Trail Blazers 93, Hawks 85

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ATLANTA (AP)—The Portland Trail Blazers sure enjoyed the third quarter.

Rasheed Wallace hardly could miss, and Damon Stoudamire kept finding him. Darius Miles got a couple of chances to show off his fists-banging-on-his-forehead salute to a dunk, including one where he soared underneath the basket and slammed it in on the other side.

“We played basketball, man,” Derek Anderson said.

Wallace had 11 of his 20 points during that dominating period, and Zach Randolph finished with 22 to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Atlanta Hawks 93-85 Thursday night.

The Trail Blazers have won four in a row on the road after a 2-16 start away from home.

“Everybody was getting shots from every angle,” Anderson said. “It’s a momentum builder. How can we sustain it? That’s the key for us.”

Stoudamire had 13 assists—including eight during that third quarter—and Miles scored 16 points for Portland. Wallace and Stoudamire left without talking to reporters.

“We’re proving we can play basketball now,” Ruben Patterson said. “We’ve got a little streak going. We’ve got to keep it up.”

Stephen Jackson led the Hawks with 15 points, and Jason Terry added 14. Atlanta has lost three of four, including the past two at home, and it still has three left on a five-game homestand.

Leading scorer Shareef Abdur-Rahim was held to 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting, and had all seven of his rebounds in the first half.

Theo Ratliff, who sat out the fourth quarter with leg cramps, calmly dissected the struggles of his teammates, starting with the 17 turnovers.

“When you give a team fast breaks and dunks, they build their confidence and get in the flow of the game,” Ratliff said. “And that’s what happened in the third quarter. The same thing happened last game.

“It’s the same old, same old scenario. If you don’t take care of the ball, and you give teams fast breaks, you build their confidence.”

With the Trail Blazers trailing by five points at halftime, Wallace made his first five shots of the third, including a 3-pointer, in about five minutes, helping Portland to a 20-6 run. A 3 by Miles made it 60-50.

The Hawks got within seven points on a jumper by Nazr Mohammed with 1:24 left in the quarter, but Randolph was fouled on a drive with only two-tenths of a second left. He made both free throws for a nine-point lead.

But Atlanta rallied, getting within 74-72 on two free throws by Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Derek Anderson then made a 3-pointer, and Randolph and Wallace later went on a 6-0 spurt by themselves, boosting the lead back to nine. The Hawks never recovered.

“We had a couple of letdowns,” Terry said. “We just have to stop the bleeding. We’ve been here before.”

Atlanta rookie Boris Diaw had a miserable night. Flustered throughout, he finished with five turnovers, including two in the final minute of the first half that helped the Trail Blazers cut a 10-point deficit to five at the break.

Hawks coach Terry Stotts obviously wasn’t happy with Diaw, questioning himsternly during a timeout and taking him out of the game.

Notes

Patterson got a technical during a timeout in the second quarter, and Terry got one of his own in the fourth quarter. … The Hawks, thanks mostly to porous defense by the Trail Blazers, had assists on their first four baskets. … Portland return home to play Chicago on Saturday night, then hit the roadfor three straight.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Portland
Z. Randolph Z. Randolph
7-18,  22 Pts
12 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Atlanta
S. Jackson S. Jackson
6-17,  15 Pts
5 Rebs, 6 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists