The Portland Trail Blazers began their season-high seven-game road trip last week as the hottest team in the NBA. Five games in, they've looked rather ordinary.
The Trail Blazers try to get back on track Monday when they face the struggling Hawks in Atlanta, where Portland has won five in a row.
The Blazers (24-16) had won 17 of 18 before traveling to Toronto last Sunday, but fell to 2-3 on their trip with Saturday's 101-94 loss to Orlando.
Portland trailed the Magic by 19 points in the third quarter before pulling within four with less than a minute to go in the third, but could get no closer.
"We were flat,'' said Brandon Roy, who had 25 points and seven assists. "Guys were tired and (had) heavy legs. We were giving in to fatigue early on, but once we toughened up, we gave them a good game.''
The Blazers were outrebounded 48-37. They're averaging 98.0 points and 43.2 rebounds on their trip after posting 104.3 points and 47.3 boards per game in their previous four contests - all wins.
Portland has not lost consecutive games since dropping four in a row Nov. 26-Dec. 2. The Blazers went on a 13-game winning streak immediately following that skid.
Portland hopes to get things turned around in Atlanta, where it has won five straight since a 101-92 defeat on Jan. 8, 2002.
The Blazers split the two-game season series with the Hawks in 2006-07 and have won 14 of the last 17 meetings.
In last season's 102-100 overtime win at Philips Arena, Roy had 23 points and nine rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 points and 14 boards for Portland.
Aldridge, though, had just 12 points on 6-of-21 shooting Saturday. He's averaging 14.6 points during the trip after averaging 21.2 points in his previous five games.
Atlanta (17-19) is coming off an 89-78 loss to Toronto on Friday, as it matched a season low in scoring.
The Hawks have dropped two straight and seven of 10 since a 7-2 stretch. They're averaging 93.1 points in their last 10 games after averaging 103.3 in their previous four - all victories.
Atlanta has had some success at home lately, though, winning two in a row and six of eight at Philips Arena.
The Hawks, in the mix for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, open a five-game road trip against Western Conference opponents Wednesday.
"We're playing pretty good basketball at home," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We're talking about making the playoffs and we're still right in the hunt, where we need to be. We've got to start winning some games on the road.''
Joe Johnson had 25 points Friday after scoring just 12 on 4-of-16 shooting in Wednesday's 87-80 loss to Milwaukee. Johnson, averaging a team-high 21.7 points, scored 33 in his only game against Portland last season, a 107-96 victory Dec. 3, 2006.
The Heat and Blazers meet next Sunday in Portland.
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