Atlanta Hawks upset Trailblazers to pick up 6th win in December

(Photo by Rashad Milligan for Steed Media Services) Portland Trailblazers guard C.J. McCollum looks on during game against Atlanta Hawks.

The Portland Trailblazers lost to the Atlanta Hawks 104-89 on Saturday. The team fell to 18-17 on the season and 2-2 since star point guard Damian Lillard‘s latest injury.

“We didn’t play up to our capabilities,” Trailblazers guard Shabazz Napier said. “We gave them a lot of second-chance points, a lot of offensive rebounds. My turnovers, a handful of things that we should’ve corrected going into the second half. I’m just upset about my play. I’m upset that we’re not consistent going from Philly to coming here and just not playing as well as we should have. It starts with the point guard, myself, I believe we just have to be better and I think we will. I definitely think we will. We have the team to do so.”

The Trailblazers’ struggles were highlighted by star guard C.J. McCollum. He shot eight-for-21 from the field, including one-for-four from three-point range and one-for-three from the free throw line. McCollum has shot 38 percent from the field during the last four games of Lillard’s absence.

“I think he was trying to draw some fouls that he wasn’t able to get and it was a rough night for him offensively,” Trailblazer head Coach Terry Stotts said.”But he’s been doing it for a while now, so there’s not really a lot that I can tell him. Just being strong with the ball and trying to make good decisions. If you get him open jump shots, I feel good no matter if he’s making them or missing them. I still feel good.”

Earlier this week after a loss to the league’s worst Hawks, Washington Wizards guard John Wall said that he believes the team only plays for stats against losing teams like Atlanta. On Saturday night, McCollum said he simply has to play better in games like those if the team wants to remain playoff contenders in the future.

“The last couple of games I’ve been getting similar looks,” McCollum said. “A little more traps in the pick-and-roll, I’ve been making crooked decisions in that, but overall I think I have to play better, I have to be better in order for us to have a chance to win these games and we have to be better collectively as a team.”

The Trailblazers are now traveling to Chicago to face another losing team, the Chicago Bulls at 8 p.m.

Rashad Milligan
Rashad Milligan

Rashad Milligan is the sports editor at the Valley Times-News in Lanett, Alabama. He was once a news reporter at the Douglas County Sentinel and the sports editor for Georgia State's student newspaper, The Signal.

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