Saturday night basketball and it was just too much from the Hawks. Again, it might be too little from the Clippers, who can’t wait to return home, after the 3rd straight away loss.
The Hawks controlled the game almost all the way from start to finish. Led by Jeff Teague with 19 points and 11 assists – his second double-double in the last 2 games – turned it up and caught on fire after the first quarter and kept really going till the end. The Clippers really froze down to start the second quarter allowing an 18-0 run. Zaza Pachulia added another 19points (season high) and 12 rebounds for Altanta, who got 17 from Josh Smith and 18 points from Lou Williams coming off the bench. “We’re playing well. The chemistry is there.”
As they did in Friday’s loss against the Nets, the Clippers didn’t do well offensively. Blake Griffin had 22 points and Chris Paul added 19, but the rest of the team had a tough night shooting the ball, just 39.1% on 18-46.LA was outscored 46-30 in the paint, pretty bad for a team ranked 3rd overall coming in the game. Quarters closed at 24-21, 17-30, 19-34 and 33-19.
The game included some real nice moments. After a first quarter reverse under the basket dunk Blake Griffin, it was Josh Smith who got off to a fast break and avoided the block of Griffin to stuff it hard to the rim with 7 minutes to go on the 3rd. Then again, Eric Bledsoe produced highlight material on a put back slam for the Clippers almost midway through the fourth period. But the dunks and the flying weren’t enough for LA.
On the night’s notables, the season’s fourth technical of Blake Griffin came with him on the bench! Jamal Crawford scored his 26th four-point play with 7.43 left in the game on a tough high arcing shot. Josh Smith, the Hawks’ second-leading scorer, Smith with 15.2 PPG sat out the entire second quarter after coming to the bench with two fouls late in the first period.
“There was an exchange there … and I wasn’t going to play him, at least not in the rest of the half. We talked at halftime.” Said coach Larry Drew.
Coming up next For the Clippers, Monday vs. Hornets. As for the Hawks, Wednesday vs. Bobcats