McCollum has triple-double, Trail Blazers beat Hawks 120-111
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum had 28 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double, leading the Portland Trail Blazers to a 120-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
Seth Curry, who got the start for the Trail Blazers in place of a resting Damian Lillard, scored 22 points.
Trae Young had 30 points and eight assists to lead the Hawks.
McCollum had 10 points and three assists in the third quarter to give Portland a three-point lead heading to the fourth. Atlanta pulled to 101-100 with 7:17 remaining, but Curry scored 11 points during the Trail Blazers’ 13-0 game-closing run.
After Atlanta jumped out to an early 11-7 lead, the Blazers outscored the Hawks 33-19 to build a 10-point lead after the first quarter.
The Hawks quickly cut the Blazers lead to three in the early moments of the second quarter. Dwayne Dedmon’s dunk with the 7:39 left in the quarter gave Atlanta a one-point lead and the Hawks led by as many as six.
Atlanta held a 1-point lead at halftime with Collins and rookie Trae Young leading the way.
McCollum got off to an early start on a big night, with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the first half.
Blazers sixth man Evan Turner was forced from the game at halftime with a sore left Achilles.
Hawks: John Collins has made a big jump from his rookie year in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game, which is nearly double his average from last season. But another area in which he’s improved has been on the offensive rebounding. Collins began the day averaging 3.8 offensive rebounds per game, a full rebound more than last year. In terms of percentage, Collins has improved by two percentage points and he’s just outside of the top-10 in that category.
Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce commended him for his willingness to embrace the mentality of dominating mismatches.
“And it’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t find him when there is a guard defending him. The effort part that he’s shown over the last month or two months. When there’s a guard on him, we want to find him but if we don’t, go to work. Because now you a small down there. He’s completely bought into it. I said it a while back, it’s like a new toy for him.”
Trail Blazers: Lillard had been dealing with nagging injuries over the last few weeks. With the Blazers just returning home after a three-game road trip, the team elected to rest Lillard who has been listed with a bruised right hand and a sore right knee.
“There’s nothing serious,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He almost didn’t play against Phoenix so I think it’s just, he needs a day.”
Lillard was one of only four Blazers who had played in each of the first 50 games this season. The choice to rest Lillard comes at a brief break in the Blazers schedule. After Saturday, the Blazers only have one game in the span of nine days.
Hawks: At Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Trail Blazers: Host Utah on Wednesday night.
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