Hawks are halted by Clippers' 19 3-pointers
Published in Basketball
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks allowed the Los Angeles Clippers to knock down 19 3-pointers on Saturday night and fell 120-113 at State Farm Arena.
Here are five observations:
1. Despite hustling on both ends of the floor, the Hawks could not overcome the Clippers’ power from long distance.
The Hawks did a good job of forcing the Clippers out of the paint, holding them to 32 points. But the Clippers have a myriad of options that can hit shots from outside. They rank fifth in the NBA in 3-point shooting, knocking down 38% of their attempts.
It showed on Saturday with the Clippers making over 50% of their tries from 3 for much of the first three quarters. The Hawks eventually managed to hold them under 50% in the fourth. But the Clippers kept adjusting down the stretch.
2. The Hawks began the night strong defensively as they held Los Angeles to just 22 points in the first quarter. They held the Clippers to 9-of-23 (39.1%) shooting from the floor with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George shouldering the load for their team early.
In the first quarter, the Hawks made them work for every possession despite both players making over 40% of their tries. But the Hawks played solid defense while keeping the Clippers off the free-throw line, limiting them to just one trip.
But George and Leonard are among the best in their one-on-one matchups and the Hawks had to throw a mix of defensive schemes the Clippers’ way to try and slow them down. With the Clippers firing on all cylinders from outside, the Hawks’ defensive efforts ended up falling short.
“They did get going,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “They were shooting right over our defense and getting the ball to the spot they wanted on the floor. And both Paul and Kawhi did a good job of scoring against single coverage. So when we felt like we need to try to break the rhythm by mixing in some zone, mixing in some traps, they made us pay when we did that.”
3. Despite the Clippers hitting more shots from outside, the Hawks managed to keep things close. After the Clippers jumped ahead in the second quarter, Trae Young gave the Hawks a big third quarter to try and pull the game back within striking distance.
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