PAUL Millsap and Taurean Prince delivered in the clutch as the Atlanta Hawks stayed unbeaten in overtime with a come-from-behind 109-104 victory over the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
Millsap forced the game into overtime with a floater at the end of regulation, leading the Hawks from five points down late in the fourth quarter. Atlanta has won all four games in extra time, and their latest win had an unlikely hero in Taurean Prince.
The Hawks saw the Blazers go on a 7-0 start in OT but countered with eight straight points, capped by a Kent Bazemore layup to lead by one, 105-104, with 40 seconds remaining. Portland failed to convert on numerous attempts to retake control, and Prince came through with a crucial steal off Damian Lillard.
Millsap knocked down a pair of free throws to push the lead to three, and Prince sealed the comeback for Atlanta with another swipe and sank his charities for good measure.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Hawks (32-23) with 25 points, while Dennis Schroder had 22 markers. Millsap added 21 points, and Dwight Howard had a big double-double of 19 markers and 16 boards.
The first half was a game of runs as Portland went on a 14-0 run bridging the first two quarters to take a 34-21 lead before the Hawks countered with a 12-2 blitz and cut the gap to six at the half, 48-42.
Atlanta then outscored Portland in the third, 33-26, to take a 75-74 edge into the fourth, where CJ McCollum sparked a 12-6 start as the Blazers regained the lead, 86-81, midway through the period.
After a Hardaway Jr. triple cut the gap down to two, 90-88, at the three-minute mark, the game turned into a free throw shootout, with the Blazers proving steadier at the line to carry a four-point lead with 1:53 to play in the quarter.
Hardaway Jr. knocked down another trey to get within one, but Maurice Harkless cleaned up a missed free throw with a putback that gave the Blazers a three-point advantage with 34 ticks left in regulation, 97-94. Portland then tested Dwight Howard at the line, who split his charities, and Al-Farouq Aminu grabbed the miss for his 14th rebound of the game.
McCollum missed a jumper on the next play to give the Hawks another chance, and Millsap delivered with a clutch floater to send the game into overtime.
McCollum scored 15 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Blazers (23-32). Lillard had 21 points but struggled with just 6-of-21 shooting from the field. Harkless added 17 markers, while Aminu ended up with 14 points and 15 rebounds.