Short­handed Clip­pers blow 21-point lead, lose to Hawks

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By PAUL NEWBERRY

AT­LANTA — With Trae Young cheer­ing him on from the bench, two-way player Bran­don Good­win did a pretty good im­pres­sion of the At­lanta Hawks’ star.

Good­win scored 19 points — all in the fourth quar­ter — and the Hawks ral­lied from a 21-point deficit to stun the short-handed Los An­ge­les Clip­pers 102-95 on Wed­nes­day night.

John Collins scored 33 points and grabbed 16 re­bounds, but it was Good­win who took con­trol in the fi­nal pe­riod. He made 6 of 11 shots, in­clud­ing all three at­tempts be­yond the arc, and dished off to De’An­dre Hunter in the cor­ner for a 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 99-93 lead with 1:43 re­main­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously, when I first got in there, I wasn’t do­ing much,” Good­win said. “When that first 3 fell, I was kind of re­lieved. I started to hit my shots.”

Young, the NBA’s third-lead­ing scorer at 29.2 points a game, didn’t dress be­cause of a right thigh con­tu­sion. Re­cently ac­quired Jeff Teague started in his place, but the Hawks turned to a guy who has spent a good por­tion of the sea­son in the G League with the game on the line.

“He con­trolled the of­fense and made big plays,” Collins said. “To give us the min­utes he did was ex­tremely valu­able.”

The Clip­pers seem­ingly seized con­trol with a 20-0 run in the first quar­ter, de­spite miss­ing starters Kawhi Leonard, Paul Ge­orge and Pa­trick


Los An­ge­les went with a lineup that was av­er­ag­ing a cu­mu­la­tive 44.5 points a game. They had no trou­ble scor­ing in the first half against the Hawks’ 28thranked de­fense, build­ing a 60-41 at the break.

But the Clip­pers were dis­mal of­fen­sively in the sec­ond half, hit­ting just 12 of 37 (32.4%) from the field, in­clud­ing 2 of 15 from 3-point range.

“A rough start,” Collins said. “But they didn’t have a cou­ple of their big guns. We knew we could play with them.”

Clip­pers coach Doc Rivers felt his team squan­dered a chance to build an even big­ger lead in the fi­nal min­utes of the first half.

Then, in the first five min­utes of the third quar­ter, Los An­ge­les let the Hawks back in the game.

“Once it be­came a 10-point game, you’re like, ‘Oh boy, it’s go­ing to be a tough night,” Rivers said.

Mon­trezl Har­rell led Los An­ge­les with 30 points, but his strug­gles at the foul line (6 of 13) gave the Hawks a chance to rally.

Rivers didn’t seem too con­cerned about the loss, which snapped a four-game win­ning streak.

“A one-off-game,” he called it.

Leonard skipped the back-to-back af­ter a 36-point ef­fort the pre­vi­ous night in a victory at Dal­las. Bev­erly missed the game af­ter go­ing down out with a groin in­jury against the Mav­er­icks. Ge­orge missed his sev­enth straight game re­cov­er­ing from a strained left ham­string.

With many fans still set­tling into their seats, the Clip­pers sud­denly turned a 12-10 deficit into a 30-12 lead. The Hawks missed 15 straight shots dur­ing a nearly six-minute scor­ing drought, de­spite giv­ing them­selves plenty of sec­ond chances by grab­bing five of­fen­sive re­bounds.

The Hawks ral­lied with a bar­rage of 3-point­ers, hit­ting 10 of 23 over the fi­nal two quar­ters af­ter go­ing 1 of 12 in the first half.

They were es­sen­tially a two-man team in the fi­nal pe­riod. Good­win and Collins com­bined for 27 of the team’s 33 points.

Associated Press

UP HIGH — Clip­pers cen­ter Ivica Zubac (40) is de­fended by At­lanta Hawks for­ward John Collins (20) in the first half on Wed­nes­day in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia.

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