LaMarcus Aldridge had a huge game in his return, scoring 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in the Portland Trail Blazers 100-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia Thursday night.
It was Aldridge’s first game since March 12. He’d missed the Trail Blazers’ last seven games because of a back injury. The Trail Blazers went 3-4 without Aldridge. He didn’t shoot particularly well (nine-of-21 from the field), but he clearly didn’t show much rust.
Damian Lillard pitched in 21 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Trail Blazers were in control most of the night and opened up a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter. The Hawks immediately answered with a 10-0 run in which Lou Williams scored eight of the 10 points, to cut the lead to six.
That, however, was as close as the game would get. The Hawks, playing without Kyle Korver and Pero Antic, simply ran out of gas.
Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 22 points while Williams finished with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists and Elton Brand had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The win improves the Trail Blazers to 46-27 and the loss drops the Hawks to 31-40, leaving them just 1.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.