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Clippers finish road trip in Atlanta

10:57 AM, Nov 24, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers complete a four-game road trip on Saturday night when they head to Philips Arena for a matchup with the Atlanta Hawks.

The Clippers are coming off an 86-76 loss Friday night in Brooklyn to the Nets. Los Angeles was ahead late, but the Nets closed out the game on a 12-2 run over the final four minutes.

The Clippers, one of 10 teams averaging over 100 ppg, were held to their lowest output of the season Friday. Brooklyn is a top-five defensive team, but the Clips didn't get enough out their stars, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

"We didn't get (Griffin) the ball enough, especially in the second half," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro remarked. "And I thought we didn't open up the court up well enough for Chris at times so he can get some attempts up as well. We need those guys to score."

Griffin and Paul each had 14 points, while Griffin grabbed eight boards and Paul handed out nine assists before fouling out. DeAndre Jordan managed a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The Clippers have lost two in a row after a six-game winning streak. They opened this road sojourn with a win in San Antonio, but have now lost in Oklahoma City and Brooklyn.

The Hawks are headed in the opposite direction of the Clippers.

They have won four in a row, highlighted by Friday night's 101-91 victory in Charlotte over the Bobcats. Saturday's contest starts a five-game homestand for the Hawks.

Al Horford led the way with game highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds. He also blocked three shots as the Hawks as a team blocked 15 shots in holding the Bobcats to 37.3 percent from the field. The 15 swats represented the highest total for the Hawks in a game since Nov. 5, 2001.

"Our guys did a great job of challenging shots," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We can't allow teams to get free looks at the rim, we have to challenge them."

Drew's Hawks are second in the NBA in opponents' scoring, third in opponents' field-goal percentage, first in forcing turnovers and second in steals per game.

As great as the Hawks have been over the last four games, Drew had to be concerned about some sloppiness on Friday night. They committed 22 turnovers, led by five from Josh Smith, who is sixth in the league in turnovers per night.

The Clippers defeated the Hawks 89-76 on Nov. 11 in Los Angeles. The Hawks are 5-1 at home against the Clips in their last six.

The Sports Network

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