Bruce Ely - Trailblazers.com

The Blazers broke a brutal four-game slide and secured their first home win of the season on Sunday night with an overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Damian Lillard, in usual fashion, led the team effort in which four Blazers scored at least 20 points (Lillard: 30, Mccollum: 23, Whiteside: 21, Simons: 20). The Hawks were led by up-and-comer Trae Young who scored 35, but took 30 shots to get there. The sense of relief was palpable for the Blazers players as they ran away with this game in overtime. After a string a heartbreaking losses, things finally broke their way. Kent Bazemore poured on the sauce versus his old team, hitting two devastating three-point shots in a row to open overtime. After that the Hawks fluttered, and for the first time this year Portland fans got to see those victory streamers fall from the Moda Center ceiling.

Bruce Ely - Trailblazers.com

No one will call this game a particularly pretty affair. Both teams came in banged up and missing key players. The marquee matchup between two of the leagues hottest guards, Lillard and Trae Young, never really played out. Lillard was busy getting his teammates involved, and Young simply missed a lot of shots. Atlanta's Jabari Parker and Kevin Heurter picked up some of the slack, keeping things close throughout. Portland, who will be without starting forward Zach Collins and starting center Jusuf Nurkic for several more months, looks particularly thin at the frontcourt these days. Small forward Rodney Hood was out as well, with back spasms. Fortunately youngster Anfernee Simons stepped up big in Hood's absence. More on that after the halftime break. The score was 46-44, Blazers, at the half. Want to see what the fans were wearing? Yes, you do!

There was a noticeable contingent of Vince Carter fans in the crowd, all hoping to see what could be his final game in the Moda Center. Unfortunately, the 42-year-old iron man sat this game out for "personal reasons." These two wore his throwback Raptor jersey to represent:


Excellent Blazers style!

Pacific Northwest NBA fans sport the most facial hair. It's a fact:

Blazers Couple. Sweet:

It was "Military Appreciation Night" so we saw many folks in uniform. Thank you for you service!

The Blazers came out of the break a step behind the Hawks, who dropped in 31 points in the third period. Luckily aforementioned Anfernee Simons got hot and held the Blazers in it with a variety of long shots and silky smooth drives. This 20-year-old has been a bright spot on what has been a tough season so far. Simons has shown poise, skill, and a very well rounded game. There's a lot to look forward to with this kid. His strong play will also raise questions about whether the Blazers should look to trade one of their highly touted backcourt pieces for some re-enforcement in the front. In the meantime, Simons gets to learn from some of the best.

Bruce Ely - Trailblazers.com

The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, and even though the Blazers looked to be the stronger team, they could never quite pull away during regulation. Lillard scored what seemed to be the game winner on a spectacular drive with seconds left, but then newcomer Kevin Huerter hit on a drive of his own to send it into overtime.

"When overtime started we was all like, 'We can't let this go,'" said Anfernee Simons.

The Blazers came into that final period locked and loaded. Bazemore, who had been traded from the Hawks this summer, caught fire and dropped two huge three-pointers on his former team, effectively ending the game. CJ McCollum hit the dagger three with seconds to go and broke into a huge smile as he urged the crowd on. CJ is in the midst of one of his slowest starts in years, and it was nice to see him bask in a little glory on this night.

Afterwards, Coach Stotts seemed relieved as well. "Obviously we needed this win," he said.

The Hawks are hardly the cream of the NBA crop, but still, they can give most teams trouble on any given night, and it was good to see our Blazers get back on track.

After the game, former Blazer Evan Turner (who got traded for Kent Bazemore, but didn't play on this night) could be seen saying hello to old friends and fans. Good ol' ET....


The Blazers play the middle-of-the-road Sacramento Kings on Tuesday before returning home Wednesday to face the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors. Let's hope they keep it rolling!