NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 11th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (2-2) at Los Angeles Clippers (4-2), 3:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the top five scoring teams in the NBA this season and have posted 100-plus points in every game.
The Clippers look to keep that scoring trend going when they begin a three- game homestand Sunday versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Los Angeles, which also will host Miami and Chicago, equaled a franchise record set in 1985-86 by hitting the century mark in scoring through its first six games. In a 103-90 victory at Portland on Thursday, Jamal Crawford scored 25 points off the bench and leads the team with 21.8 ppg. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul scored 21 points apiece for the Clippers, who built a 25-point lead in the first half and have won two in a row to improve to 4-2.
The Clippers' lead was trimmed to 86-82, but they held on. The Blazers outscored the Clippers, 32-17, in the third quarter.
"We had a letdown, but those guys had a burst of energy (in the second half). And this is a tough place to play," Paul said. "I put this as one of the top five toughest places to play in the NBA. That's a credit to them and their fans and how they never stop playing."
It was the Clippers' first game away from Staples Center this season. Blake Griffin had 10 rebounds and seven points for L.A., which shot 53.2 percent from the field. Meanwhile, Jordan has scored 20-plus points in consecutive games and has reached double figures in three straight.
Also, Crawford's 131 total points in the first six games off the bench are the most since Jason Terry had 131 in 2007-08.
The Clippers' bench is averaging 41.8 ppg. The team is just one of two with six players averaging more than 10 points per game this season.
Atlanta won its only road game of the season last Sunday at Oklahoma City and will commence a four-game trek this afternoon. The Hawks will visit the Clippers, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Kings, and almost toppled defending champion Miami in Friday's 95-89 loss.
Heat veteran reserve Ray Allen hit the go-ahead baseline jumper with under two minutes remaining, while Jeff Teague had 20 points and 11 assists to pace the Hawks, who had a two-game winning streak stopped.
"It was a very hard-fought game," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "I thought my guys and competed at a very high level. We played good in spurts and again we showed some resilience, particularly when we got down by nine or 10 in the fourth quarter. We kept fighting and actually took the lead, but this game is about making plays down the stretch."
Josh Smith banged knees with Heat star LeBron James early on, but was able to play through the pain, scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Anthony Morrow netted 17 points off the bench. The Hawks bench has not been outscored this season in four games, posting a 154-114 advantage.
The Hawks, who are unbeaten in three straight road games dating back to last season, have handed out 20-plus assists in all four games this season, while averaging 21.8 assists per game.
Atlanta and the Clippers split a pair of matchups a season ago, but the Hawks have prevailed in nine of the last 12 meetings. Atlanta has won four of its last six games at the Clippers.
11/11 10:31:09 ET