Los Angeles -The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night by a final score of 102-95, missing key players to injury. The Clippers had Kawhi Leonard, Paul George on the bench and Atlanta Trae Young was in street clothes.
Trae Young (right thigh contusion) was unavailable for the Hawks, while Alex Len (back) returned to the bench on a 20-minute restriction. Veteran guard Jeff Teague started in Young’s absence.
The Clippers blew a 21-point lead and had their winning streak end at four games. They missed 14 free throws from the charity stripe and numerous second-half opportunities to close out the Hawks, who were without Young. Atlanta outscored the Clippers 61-35 in the second half.
The Hawks trailed the Clippers 22-12 eight minutes into play, with the Clips sprinted out to an 18-1 run to take the lead after Atlanta got off to an 11-4 start. LA extended the run all the way to 26-1 at one point as the Hawks went nearly eight minutes without a bucket. Clippers were up 32-16 after the first quarter.
The Clips kept their foot on the gas and led 60-41 at the break. Montrezl Harrell led all scorers with 21 points while John Collins kept Atlanta in striking distance with 17 points.
Atlanta found it shooting touch coming out of the half, with Kevin Huerter engineering a 12-1 run with two treys, cutting the deficit to only eight points just 3:33 into the half.
The Hawks kept firing up threes and Teague hit a three cut the deficit to seven with 1:40 left in the third. They ended up outscoring the Clips 28-15 in the third quarter and trailed just 75-69 going to the fourth quarter.
The Hawks turned up the defensive pressure in the fourth, cutting the lead to 90-86 with just 5:25 to go in the game after a trey by Brandon Goodwin. Goodwin alley-oop to Collins to make it 91-88. Collins scored again to make it 91-90 with 4:15 left to play.
Goodwin’s dribble drive penetration for two gave the Hawks a two-point lead with 3:56 remaining left in the game.
The Goodwin got fouled on a trey from downtown, making all three and giving Atlanta a 96-91 lead with 3:22 left in the game. De’Andre Hunter hit a three to make it 99-93 to for the Hawks with 1:43 remaining.
A pair of free throws from Lou Williams, the Hawks led 99-95 with 37.4 on the clock. The Clips came down the court and missed a three and Atlanta pulled out the win.
Collins led Atlanta with a season-high 33 points to go with 16 rebounds Goodwin added 19 points to help seal the win.
Lou Williams started and finished with 18 points on six-for-19 shooting form the field. He missed all seven of his three-point shots. Also reaching double figures were Landry Shamet (13 points) and Ivica Zubac (11 points).
George missed the first game of the trip to recuperate in Los Angeles before meeting the team Tuesday in Dallas. He took part in two-on-two games the next day, coach Doc Rivers said.
“As I said before, I know he’s close but I don’t know if that means tomorrow or five days,” Rivers said before tipoff. “We’re just letting him go through the process. That’s something you don’t want to rush. Hamstrings are just a tricky thing and you don’t want to take any chances and we will error on the cautious side, for sure.”