PORTLAND, Ore. — The Hawks’ resilience was tested Monday night at Moda Center, and Atlanta passed with flying colors.
The Hawks needed a short Paul Millsap jump shot to force overtime, then overcame a quick seven-point deficit in the extra session to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-104.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way with 25 points as the Hawks (32-23) scored the final 12 points in overtime to secure the victory.
“It looked like we were in pretty good position to win it, both in regulation and overtime,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “But (the Hawks) made plays, they made shots and we came up short.”
Dennis Schroder scored 22 points, Millsap contributed 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots, and Dwight Howard chipped in 19 points, 16 boards and four blocks for Atlanta, which lost two of its previous three games.
CJ McCollum scored 26 points and Damian Lillard added 21 for the Trail Blazers, who fell for the fifth time in seven games.
Portland (23-32) scored the first seven points in overtime and never scored again.
“The guys just stuck with it,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Proud of them. They found a way to win. It’s a credit to the players.”
The Blazers won the rebound battle 66-52 and held a 22-7 edge on the offensive glass. However, the Hawks had a huge advantage at the free-throw line, making 37 of 48 attempts to only 14 of 25 for Portland.
“The disparity on the offensive boards, the disparity at the line — maybe they canceled each other out,” Budenholzer said. “But we attacked the basket, whether it was Paul and Dwight in the post or Dennis driving, (Kent Bazemore) getting to the basket. When you’re in attack mode, that can result in free throws.”
Portland led by 13 points midway through the second quarter, settling for a 48-42 advantage at intermission.
The Blazers extended the margin to 53-42 early in the third quarter, but the Hawks used an 18-7 run to tie the score at 60-60. It was a battle from there, neither team leading by more than five through the rest of regulation.
Lillard hit two free throws to push Portland ahead 92-88 with 2:16 to go. Millsap answered with a pair at the line to cut it to 92-90 with 2:09 left.
McCollum’s driving layup pushed Portland in front 95-91, but Hardaway buried a 3-pointer and it was 95-94 with 1:46 remaining. Harkless’ tip-in gave the Blazers a 97-94 lead with 36.1 seconds left.
Howard made 1 of 2 at the line to cut the difference to 97-95 with 28.6 seconds to go.
McCollum missed a long jumper, and the Hawks rebounded and called timeout with 2.2 ticks left.
Millsap fumbled the inbounds pass but somehow muscled the shot into the basket at the buzzer to tie it at 97-97 and force overtime.
The Blazers surged ahead 104-97 in OT, but the Hawks took care of business the rest of the way.
“They had the momentum going into overtime, but we jumped on them with that 7-0 run and were in control,” said Portland forward Ed Davis, who scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds off the bench. “Then they hit started making shots and got stops and got back into the game.
“It hurts. We thought we had this game, but that’s the NBA. Good teams find a way to win, and teams that are struggling find a way to lose.”
NOTES: Atlanta won its fifth consecutive meeting with Portland. … The Hawks won the fastbreak points battle 22-2. … Atlanta shot only 38.6 percent from the field, Portland only 35.9 percent. The Blazers had a huge advantage in 3-point shooting, though — 16 of 42 to the Hawks’ 8 of 28. … Portland was without C Jusuf Nurkic, who was at Moda Center but unavailable for duty after his acquisition from Denver was finalized Monday. Coach Terry Stotts said he hopes to have Nurkic available for duty when the Blazers visit Utah on Wednesday. Meyers Leonard will start at center for Portland and scored two points. … Atlanta G Thabo Sefolosha (groin) missed his eighth consecutive game. … In his past six games, Hawks F Tim Hardaway Jr. has averaged 22.5 points. “He’s scoring at every level — getting to the basket, finishing in the paint, he has the mid-range pull-up. He can make threes and get to the free-throw line,” coach Mike Budenholzer said.