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Johnson, Hawks snap nine-game slide to Blazers

Dec 4, 2006 - 4:43 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Joe Johnson put in the work and the Atlanta Hawks got a long-awaited result - a win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Johnson scored 33 points, including four 3-pointers, and Tyronn Lue added 19 as the Hawks snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Trail Blazers with a 107-96 victory.

This was the first time Atlanta won in Portland since December 15, 1997, a string of seven straight losses. It was also the Hawks' first win over the Blazers since the 2001-02 season.

"Wow, I didn't even now that," Johnson said. "It really doesn't pertain to us but I'm sure glad we broke that streak. We've been playing hard and when you do that, only good things can happen. So I'm glad that streak is over and I'm glad we were able to get a win starting off a road trip."

Johnson, who made 14-of-22 shots, scored Atlanta's first eight points of the third quarter for a 68-59 cushion with 9:15 remaining.

"I just came out and wanted to be assertive with my game," Johnson said. "I think we were all able to get some good looks and were able to capitalize on them. We have enough weapons right now and when we are all clicking, we are tough to beat."

The Hawks extended their margin to 87-72 at the close of the period.

"I think the biggest thing is when Zach (Randolph) picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, we were able to manufacture points and get up 17," Lue said. "That put a lot of pressure on them (the Blazers) going into the fourth quarter."

Behind a strong fourth quarter by Randolph, who finished with 30 points, the Blazers made a push, closing to 94-87 with 6:18 to go. But Johnson drained a deep jumper and the Hawks maintained a nice cushion from thereon.

"They (the Blazers) were making their shots but we were able to counteract with some of our own," Johnson said. "I think that is the biggest thing on the road. When they make their run, we got to try and make one right back. We played our hearts out tonight and it showed. It was a big victory."

Martell Webster had 18 points and rookie Sergio Rodriguez handed out a season-high 11 assists for Portland, which has lost five games in a row.

"They (the Hawks) outworked us," Randolph said. "We came out flat and we didn't have no defensive pressure. They did what they wanted to do. Joe Johnson had a great game and he had all his guys running right along with him."






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