NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 8th (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (26-34) at Los Angeles Clippers (43-20), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers seek their seventh consecutive victory Saturday night when they welcome the fortunate Atlanta Hawks to Staples Center.
The Clips haven't lost since Feb. 21 in Memphis. They have won two straight at home and host Pacific Division foes the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors on this residency.
Last time out, the Clips showed no mercy on their neighbors at Staples Center. The Clippers, seeded fourth in the West, handed the Lakers their most-lopsided loss in franchise history with a 142-94 victory.
"It's not about how much we win by, it's about how we execute," Blake Griffin said.
Griffin finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, followed by Darren Collison, who netted a team-high 24 points. Chris Paul supplied 13 points and 11 assists, while Matt Barnes added 17 points, 12 boards, five assists and three steals for the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers, who routed the Lakers 123-87 on Jan. 11, held a 29-27 edge after a quarter of play, but outscored the Lakers 80-33 over the next two frames to turn the game into a laugher.
Jamal Crawford and Jared Dudley sat against the Lakers and both are listed as questionable.
Atlanta is lucky to be in playoff contention and has lost five straight and 13 of the last 14 games. It is eighth in the weak Eastern Conference, two games behind Charlotte and three games ahead of Detroit.
The Hawks' losing trend continued with Friday's 111-97 loss at Golden State. Paul Millsap (16), Mike Scott (14) and Pero Antic (10) scored in double figures for the Hawks, who are 0-4 on a six-game road trip and winless in the last nine games outside of Philips Arena.
Atlanta trailed 32-31 after the first quarter and lost the second period by a 34-21 score.
"We lost our mental toughness at the end of the second quarter and they were able to get out on us," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Hawks are 9-23 on the road and will close the trek Monday at Utah.
Atlanta has won two straight against the Clippers, including a 107-97 home victory on Dec. 4. L.A. has taken the last two at Staples Center.
03/08 10:57:45 ET