Murray’s 39 help Hawks beat Blazers for Snyder’s first win
ATLANTA (AP) — Dejounte Murray scored a career-high 41 points to help Atlanta overcome Damian Lillard’s 33 points and give new coach Quin Snyder his first win with the Hawks, a 129-111 victory over the slumping Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
Murray scored 15 points in the second quarter. He made 17 of 22 shots from the field for the game and all five of his 3-point attempts.
Trae Young took over with 15 in the third quarter and finished with 23 points and 11 assists.
Snyder, the former Utah coach, agreed to a five-year deal as Atlanta’s coach on Feb. 26, five days after the firing of Nate McMillan. The Hawks lost to Washington 119-116 on Tuesday night in Snyder’s debut.
Cam Reddish had 25 points and Jerami Grant had 14 for the Trail Blazers, who lost their third straight and fifth in six games.
The Hawks scored the game’s first five points and never trailed.
They leaned heavily on Murray’s scoring in the first half. Murray had 15 second-quarter points, giving him 23 at halftime as Atlanta’s answer to Lillard’s lead role for the Blazers.
Murray again flourished against the Blazers. He topped his previous high of 40 points scored in a 129-125 loss at Portland on Jan. 30.
The Hawks matched their big first-half lead of 17 points at 45-28 before Portland pulled to within 47-41 with a 13-2 run. Young’s short jumper, only his second field goal of the half, gave Atlanta a 59-49 halftime lead.
Young’s high-scoring third period helped Atlanta stretch the lead to 97-76 entering the final period.
OKONGWU FOR RARE 3
When asked about early impressions about his new team in practice, Snyder mentioned forward-center Onyeka Okongwu had been making a good percentage of his 3-pointers. It was a surprise, considering Okongwu made his first career 3 against Phoenix on Feb. 1.
Okongwu made good on Snyder’s observation by sinking another 3, the second of his career, early in the second period.
Trail Blazers: Reddish, who began his career in Atlanta, made four 3-pointers while starting at shooting guard as Anfernee Simons (right ankle sprain) was held out. Simons was injured in Wednesday’s loss to New Orleans. ... C Jusuf Nurkic (left calf strain) missed his 12th consecutive game.
Hawks: Young started after being listed as probable with a sore right groin. Young appeared to tweak his left ankle early in the game. He appeared to favor the ankle after Matisse Thybulle landed on his foot, but Young remained in the game. ... Clint Capela had 11 points and 12 rebounds. De’Andre Hunter added 17 points.
Trail Blazers: Continue their six-game road trip at Orlando on Sunday.
Hawks: Open a four-game road trip at Miami on Saturday night. Atlanta plays the Heat again on Monday before back-to-back games at Washington on Wednesday and Friday.
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