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Staff report: Atlanta scores big in middle quarters to upend visiting Portland

Atlanta scored 40 points in the second quarter and 44 in the third en route to a 129-117 victory over the Trail Blazers on Saturday night at State Farm Arena.

Trae Young scored 25 points and dished out 15 assists and the Hawks — who entered the game ranked last in the NBA in 3-point percentage — were 18 for 42 from beyond the arc.

CJ McCollum scored 35 points and Hassan Whiteside collected 21 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots for Portland (26-35), which has lost six of its last seven games.

The Blazers, who finish their three-game trip Monday night at Orlando, are in 11th place in the NBA Western Conference, percentage points ahead of Sacramento (25-34), with 21 games to play. Portland is 3 1/2 games behind No. 8 Memphis (29-31), a game back of No. 9 New Orleans (26-33) and a half-game behind No. 10 San Antonio (25-33).

Portland used an 11-2 run to go ahead 22-13. The Blazers settled for a 28-23 lead after one quarter. The Hawks rallied to mount a 63-53 advantage late in the quarter. McCollum's buzzer-beating corner 3 made it 63-56 at the half. Whiteside had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the half.

The difference was 93-73 midway through the third quarter. Atlanta took a 107-90 edge into the final period. The Blazers closed the gap to 121-111 with 4:40 left. They never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Portland point guard Damian Lillard missed his fifth straight game as he recovers from a groin injury. Reserve guard Anfernee Simons left in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury and did not return.

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