Danilo Gallinari hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 28 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 123-114 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in a matchup of teams vying for playoff positioning in their respective conferences on Monday night.
Portland’s four-game winning streak, which had come entirely on the road, was snapped by the Hawks.
Atlanta entered the night tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference, while the Trail Blazers were in the same position in the West. Both teams want to avoid finishing as low as seventh, which would force them to compete in a play-in tournament.
After arriving early Monday from Boston, where they defeated the Celtics the night before, the Trail Blazers were forced to flee their hotel rooms and seek refuge in an Atlanta parking garage for about a half-hour due to a tornado warning.
They ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, sabotaging Damian Lillard’s 33-point performance and Carmelo Anthony’s historic night.
Anthony, 36, scored 14 points, passing 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 led Atlanta’s offense in the first two quarters, scoring 23 of his 25 points for the second-highest scoring half of his career. He also hit seven three-pointers, one less than his career high.
Gallinari took over in the second half, scoring 21 points and connecting on six of seven three-point attempts.
The Hawks shot 20 of 41 from 3-point range as a team.
After beginning his career as a winger, Gallinari, 32, is now frequently matched up with bigger players in the post.
Nonetheless, he retains that outside touch.
“It’s just more of a mental change,” Gallinari said. “You need embrace it and just make best out of it..”
MARK OF MELO
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, completing a four-point play.
He was well aware of the number of points required 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. ”
Anthony’s career appeared to be over after he appeared in just 10 games during the 2018-19 season, but he has found new life in Portland.
He’s passed nine players on the career scoring list in the last two seasons.
Last season, he defeated Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, and Paul Pierce; this season, he has defeated Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and now Hayes.
The 36-year-old Anthony’s next opponent is Moses Malone, who has 27,409 points.