TV: League Pass
- Somebody is going to have a losing streak end tonight, as the Portland Trail Blazers (45-27, 19-18 on the road) try to break a three-game losing streak in the penultimate game of their five-games road trip, and the third game of a four-in-five, when they take on the Atlanta Hawks (31-39, 20-13 at home) at Philips Arena. The Hawks, losers of four straight are completing a four-games-in-five-nights stretch. This is the second and final meetings between the teams. The Blazers beat the Hawks, 102-78, on March 5,in the Rose Garden. The game marked the end of Kyle Korver’s NBA-record streak of 127 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer. Portland is 18-33 all-time in Atlanta but has won the last two games in the series.
- Portland will get a big boost with the return to the starting lineup of forward power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge has missed the last seven games, with a lower back contusion suffered March 12 in San Antonio. The Blazers lost to the Spurs that night and have gone 3-4 in the seven games he’s been out missed, including the first three of this five-game road trip. “Just having him back on the court, I don’t know if he’ll be 100 percent, but getting a player like him coming back on the court makes everybody feel a little bit better,” said Blazers coach Terry Stotts, adding he told his team they shouldn’t rely too much on Aldridge. “It’s good to have him back and we’re a better team, but everybody has to play hard.”
- The Hawks will again be without Korver, who will miss his fifth consecutive game, with back spasms. Atlanta also will be without center Pero Antic, who sprained his right ankle in Wednesday night’s loss at Minnesota. Coach Mike Budenholzer is counting on the competitive nature of his players to get the team through these latest injury woes and back on track. “I think all year we’ve been dealing with it to a certain degree,” said Budenholzer. “When you have a competitive group and competitive individuals as you get closer and closer to the game you get more and more excited about competing and figuring out a way and finding a way to win. They’ve been very resilient. The competition kind of fuels your spirit.”
— Jon Cooper