By Don Phillips
Preview: Atlanta Hawks at Portland Trail Blazers
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
Hawks lead, 54-53
Trail Blazers lead, 34-19
AT THE HAWKS:
Hawks lead, 35-19
LAST PORTLAND WIN:
100-85, 3/27/14 (Atl.)
LAST HAWKS WIN:
106-97, 12/21/15 (Atl.)
CURRENT WIN STREAK:
•Tonight marks the second and final matchup between the Trail Blazers and Hawks in 2015-16.
• Atlanta defeated Portland, 106-97, at home earlier this season on Dec. 21. In that game, Dennis Schroder scored 18 points off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting (3-4 3-PT).
• Neither Damian Lillard (left foot plantar fasciitis) or CJ McCollum (bilateral ankle sprains) were active in the first matchup between these teams on Dec. 21.
• This contest marked the first time Damian Lillard missed a game in his NBA career. Lillard had previously played in each of his first 275 games.
• Tim Frazier made his first start as a Trail Blazer at Atlanta on Dec. 21 and produced 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Frazier became the first Portland player to play 47+ minutes in a non-overtime game since Will Barton (48, 4/17/13).
• Atlanta won both of its games against Portland last season, marking the team’s first season sweep over the Trail Blazers since 2010/11.
• Atlanta hasn’t swept Portland in consecutive seasons since 2009/10-2010/11.
Through the first 41 games of 2015-16, Portland’s bench has combined for 1,345 points on 46.2% shooting (281 more pts than 2014/15). The last time that the Trail Blazers had this many points off the bench through their first 41 games was 2011/12, when the reserves combined for 1,359 points. Portland has also logged 154 more rebounds off the bench this year than in 2014-15.
Portland’s reserve unit produced 39 points on Jan. 16 at Philadelphia, extending its streak to five consecutive games with at least 35 total points. The Trail Blazers bench, which has outscored the opposing reserves in four of the past five games (+50 pts), has averaged 40.0 points during that time.
Atlanta is second in the league in points off opponent turnovers (20.3), while ranking first in forcing turnovers (17.0). The Hawks have scored at least 10 points off opponent miscues in every game this year, including 19 contests with 20-plus.
The Hawks rank second in the NBA in assists at 25.6 per game, dishing out at least 25 helpers 24 times, including nine 30-assist nights. The Hawks have handed out at least 21 assists in all but three games this year. Atlanta is recording assists on 66.2% of their made baskets (second in the league) and also ranks fourth in A/TO ratio (1.74).
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Selection: Portland and Over