Hawks blaze early then survive furious Blazers rally late for third consecutive victory
Al Horford and the Hawks frontcourt completely outplayed the Blazers in the paint. AP

PORTLAND, Ore. — Paul Millsap had 23 points and nine rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks survived a late rally by Portland to defeat the Trail Blazers 104-98 on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time).

Kent Bazemore also had 23 points for the Hawks, who have won three straight overall and four straight against the Blazers.

CJ McCollum had 28 points for Portland, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half but came all the way to grab an 84-79 lead after Meyers Leonard's 3-pointer with 8:10 left.

Kyle Korver wrestled back the lead for the Hawks with his first 3-pointer of the game, before Millsap's 3-pointer and Al Horford's jumper stretched Atlanta's lead to 98-92 with 1:53 left. Portland couldn't catch up.

Damian Lillard had 18 points for the Blazers, who went 9 for 31 from 3-point range.

Atlanta opened a 33-20 lead on Mike Scott's jumper in the second quarter, but Portland pulled within one at 43-42 after Lillard's long jumper. Atlanta had a 48-43 lead at the break.

The Hawks increased their advantage to 66-56 midway through the third, but the Blazers kept hanging around, closing to 74-72 on McCollum's 19-foot jumper.

Lillard hit a 3-pointer and a free throw to tie it at 79 with 9:42 to go. He followed with a running layup that gave Portland its first lead since the first quarter.

TIP-INS

Hawks: With the win, coach Mike Budenholzer tied Bob Weiss for eighth on Hawks' career wins list with 124. ... The game opened a four-city road trip for the Hawks.

Trail Blazers: McCollum has now scored 20 or more points in 20 games this season. ... The Blazers played the music video for Lillard's newly released song "Bigger Than Us."

VANITY PLATES

The Trail Blazers unveiled Oregon's new Trail Blazers license plate, which will be available to drivers this spring. Proceeds from the $40 surcharge for the plates will be distributed to youth-oriented nonprofits across Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown was on hand for the unveiling.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Visit Sacramento on Thursday night.

Trail Blazers: Host the Lakers on Saturday night.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph