Trail Blazers Finish Off 2017 Saturday Night In Atlanta

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers start a three-game trip while also playing their last game of 2017 Saturday night with a tilt versus the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The Trail Blazers (18-16)enter Saturday's game coming off a 114-110 come-from-behind victory versus the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night at the Moda Center. Portland rallied from 18-point third-quarter deficit to get the victory, which broke a six-game home losing streak.

CJ McCollum led all scorers with 34 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists while Shabazz Napier, who started in place of Damian Lillard (strained right hamstring) scored 15 his is 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback.

"It was a hell of a win, a hell of a fourth quarter," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "Everybody, especially in the fourth quarter, was tremendous. Nurk, after he came back, played with a lot of passion, a lot of energy. That was obvious. Shabazz kind of got off to a slow start but really sparked us as well. A lot of good performances."

Though the Trail Blazers have struggled to win at home this season, their road record, particularly against the East, has been a pleasant surprise. Portland has won their last six and are 7-2 overall in road games against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Hawks (9-26) are coming off a 111-98 loss to the Raptors in Toronto Friday night. Forward Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 30 points in the losing effort. Atlanta had won their previous two games versus Dallas and Washington, which was the first time Mike Budenholzer's team had won consecutive games this season.

Saturday night's game is the first meeting between the Trail Blazers and Hawks this season, though they'll meet just a week later in Portland to finish off their two-game series. The Hawks and Trail Blazers split their season series 1-1 in 2016-17, with each team winning on their opponents' home court.

Damian Lillard, who has missed the last three games after suffering a right hamstring injury in Portland's 93-91 loss to the Spurs on December 20, is listed as questionable. Noah Vonleh (right fourth finger) and Meyers Leonard (right ankle) are probable.

Saturday night's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.