NBA Game Summary - LA Clippers at Atlanta
(Friday, March 14th)
Final Score: Atlanta 117, LA Clippers 93
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson scored 28 points, hitting 7-of-8 three-point shots to help Atlanta to a 117-93 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Josh Smith added 25 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who snapped a two-game skid and moved into a tie with idle New Jersey for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"It feels good just to be able to sit out (most of) the fourth quarter, and rest our bodies," said Smith. "We haven't had a game like this in a long time. It felt good, eveyrthing was clicking and we shared the ball extremely well."
Mike Bibby and Josh Childress also chipped in 14 points apiece, with Bibby doling out a game-high 14 assists and Childress grabbing nine rebounds. Acie Law ended with 10 points off the bench in the victory.
Al Thornton and Tim Thomas had 18 each for the Clippers, losers of two straight and 10 of their last 12 contests overall. Corey Maggette donated 14 points in defeat.
"Most teams play aggressively at home and that's pretty much what it was," said Thomas. "(The Hawks) ran it up every opportunity they got and they shot the ball well. When you get layups and points off the turnovers it's easy."
The game concluded just as a tornado swept through downtown Atlanta, causing damage to both Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome, where the SEC conference basketball game between Alabama and Mississippi State was halted.
It was a tight contest in the early going, until the Hawks launched a 16-4 run to take control. A Bibby jumper with 5:03 left in the first broke a 15-all deadlock, and a Johnson trey with 1:15 showing made it 33-19.
Atlanta led 36-22 at the close of the first quarter, then followed with a 10-4 spurt to further inflate the cushion.
That momentum held, and the Hawks were up 63-48 at intermission.
The home squad also kept the heat on in the third, using a three-point barrage from Johnson to make it 74-57 at 6:52.
It was 96-71 heading to the fourth, and the Hawks hit triple digits on Law's layup with 11 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Clippers then limped to the finish, behind a 45.5 percent field goal effort. They bucketed just 4-of-13 from beyond the arc, compared to 9-of-13 for the Hawks.
Atlanta improved to just 5-14 since February 8, including 2-6 in the month of March...The Clippers' Chris Kaman missed his third straight game with a sore lower back...The Hawks won for just the third time in the last 10 meetings, including a 2-3 mark in Atlanta...The Hawks held the edge on the boards, 46-35, and shot 54 percent for the contest.
03/15 00:13:50 ET