More of the Same: Hawks Can’t Finish; Clippers Capitalize to End Streak

11.22.17

 

Atlanta – The Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers entered their Thanksgiving Eve tilt in Atlanta with similar goals.  Both teams were trying to shake a rough start to the season while looking at an opponent suffering similar misery.  In both cases, something had to give.  Unfortunately, as has been the case far too often this season, it was the Hawks’ defense that gave in as the Clippers took advantage of Blake Griffin’s triple-double to collect a 116-103 win and put an end to L.A.’s 9-game losing streak.  Griffin’s 12 second half points helped a hot shooting Clipper team (50% from 3) overcome Atlanta’s early lead.  Wesley Johnson made his first 6 shots from distance to finish with 24 points in a supporting role as well.

Schroder controlling the offense

Wednesday’s contest was much more competitive than the final score would indicate as both teams came out firing: anxious to turn the corner towards more success.  Griffin and Austin Rivers led the charge early in the contest as the high scoring pace was set from the start.  Atlanta, on the other hand, relied on their most experienced player, Marco Belinelli, to keep pace.  Belinelli consistently found an answer to the Clippers’ onslaught during the first half with timely shots from all over the floor.  Belinelli pumped in 16 first half points on 7 of 8 shooting to lead the Hawks to a 63-62 halftime lead.  While it was obvious neither team would be a defensive juggernaut on this evening (see the 125 first half points), both teams left the floor excited to be in position to change their recent fortunes. Atlanta had even more of a reason to believe during the 3rd quarter as the Hawks jumped out to a 7-point lead punctuated by a Dennis Schroder 3-pointer with just under 8 minutes to play in the quarter.  However, a running layup from Louis Williams followed by baskets from Griffin and Johnson quickly cut the Hawks’ lead and gave L.A. a lead they would never relinquish.  Griffin proved too much to overcome as his 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists would reveal. The Clippers outscored Atlanta 28-19 over the final period to provide the winning margin.

The victory was a welcome sight to a Clippers team reeling from the loss of point guard Patrick Beverly (knee) and the effects of their recent skid. Williams and Rivers chipped in 18 and 13 respectively while DeAndre Jordan collected 16 rebounds to go with 14 points.  While Belinelli took the lead for the Hawks, John Collins made his first NBA start a memorable one with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.  Dewayne Dedmon, Schroder and Kent Bazemore also joined in scoring in double figures as well.  L.A. will attempt to continue its winning ways as they travel back to the West coast while Atlanta will continue its homestand searching for the answer to finishing games on top.

 

Next Up:

 

Atlanta Hawks v. New York Knicks

Friday, November 24, 2017

Philips Arena, Atlanta GA

7:30pm

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