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Sept. 27, 2021

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Gallinari, Bogdanovic lead Hawks past Trail Blazers 123-114

Portland's four-game win streak snapped in Atlanta

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Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) is defended by Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) as he tries to shoot in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, May 3, 2021, in Atlanta.
Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) is defended by Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) as he tries to shoot in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, May 3, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) Photo Gallery

ATLANTA (AP) — Danilo Gallinari made seven 3-pointers and finished with 28 points, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 123-114 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in a matchup Monday night of teams battling for playoff positioning in their respective conferences.

The Hawks snapped Portland’s four-game winning streak, which had come entirely on the road.

Atlanta entered the night tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference, with the Trail Blazers holding the same spot in the West. Both teams are looking to avoid dropping as low as seventh, which would force them into the play-in tournament.

After getting in early Monday from Boston, where they beat the Celtics the previous night, the Trail Blazers were forced from the hotel rooms to take refuge in a parking garage for about a half-hour by a tornado warning in Atlanta.

They ran out of steam in the fourth quarter, ruining a 33-point night for Damian Lillard and a bit of history for Carmelo Anthony.

The 36-year-old Anthony scored 14 points to surpass Elvin Hayes for 10th place on the NBA’s career scoring list with 27,318.

“This moment is a little bit special,” Anthony said. “I don’t want to downplay it. I’m excited about it.”

The Hawks were excited about the win, especially with Gallinari providing a big lift off the bench.

“It’s very important,” coach Nate McMillan said. “You’ve got to have a first and second unit. He’s a big part of how we play in that second unit.”

Bogdan Bogdanovic provided the bulk of Atlanta’s offense over the first two quarters, scoring 23 of his 25 points for the second highest-scoring half of his career. He also made seven 3s, one shy of his career best.

Gallinari took over in the second half, scoring 21 points and hitting six of seven beyond the arc.

As a team, the Hawks were 20 of 41 from 3-point range.

After starting his career as more of a wing player, the 32-year-old Gallinari is often matched up now with bigger players in the post.

Yet he’s still got that outside touch.

“It’s just more of a mental change,” Gallinari said. “You need embrace it and just make best out of it..”

MELO’S MARK

Anthony moved into the Top 10 of the career scoring list early in the second quarter when he hit a 3-pointer and was fouled by Gallinari, knocking down the free throw to complete a four-point play.

He was fully aware of how many points he needed to pass Hayes.

“I knew this moment,” Anthony said. “I didn’t know those other moments — 15, 13, 11. But 10 is something I knew. … If you’re in the Top 10 of anything of all time, it’s a special moment. “

It looked like his career might be over after he played just 10 games during the 2018-19 season, but Anthony has found new life in Portland.

In the past two seasons, he’s passed nine players on the career scoring list.

He knocked off Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek and Paul Pierce last season; he’s taken down Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and now Hayes this season.

Next up for the 36-year-old Anthony: Moses Malone at 27,409 points.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: CJ McCollum had 20 points. … Norman Powell was able to play more than 32 minutes despite a sore right knee. He was listed as questionable but suited up and scored 15 points after playing 39 minutes the night before at Boston.

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