Two of NBA's hottest face off as Hawks host Clippers
Posted on: 05 Feb, 2024 at 05:35 AM
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Hawks will be shooting for a season-high five-game winning streak on Monday when they wrap up a six-game homestand by hosting the Los Angeles Clippers.
Atlanta beat the Golden State Warriors 141-134 in overtime on Saturday, overcoming Steph Curry's 60-point performance, and moved to within a half-game of Chicago for the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Clippers have won three in a row after defeating the Miami Heat 103-95 on Sunday. The Clippers have won eight of their last nine and are No. 3 in the West. Los Angeles is 5-1 on its seven-game road trip, which concludes in Atlanta.
This will be the first meeting between the teams this season. They split two games a season ago, each winning away from their home court.
"I don't believe in streaks," Atlanta coach Quin Snyder said. "I believe in playing well. If we can have a streak, I don't know what that number is. I like to win, our guys do, too. If we keep doing some of the things we've been doing maybe we can win a few more."
During their four-game winning streak, which matches the team's longest streak of the season, the Hawks are averaging 133.5 points, 49.3 rebounds and 28.8 assists. During the streak, Trae Young is averaging 30.8 points, 11.5 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 40.1 minutes.
Young has handed out five-plus assist in 151 straight regular-season games, his latest game sending him past Russell Westbrook for the fifth-longest such streak in NBA history. He enters Monday's game with 3,763 assists, one behind Mookie Blaylock (1992-99) for No. 2 in franchise history.
In Saturday's win, Jalen Johnson, Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu combined for 60 points on 58.1-percent shooting and 44 rebounds. They became the first trio of Hawks to post at least 60 points and 44 boards while shotting at least 50 percent since 1986, according to Elias Sports. But Capela will not play against the Clippers because of a left adductor strain.
Atlanta had 72 points in the paint on Saturday, which Snyder attributed to the ability of Young and Dejounte Murray to effectively drive to the basket.
The Hawks figure to have their hands full on Monday, with a Clippers team focused on heading home with their 17th win in 20 games.
"Just finish strong, running through the finish line," Clippers center Mason Plumlee said. "It's been a good trip, but it will be better if we can handle business (against Atlanta.)"
Leonard had 25 points and 11 rebounds on Sunday and James Harden, who scored only four points on 1-for-10 shooting on Friday against Detroit, bounced back to total 21 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists. Leonard, Harden and Paul George, who scored 15, combined for 39 of the team's 60 second-half points.
It is uncertain whether Atlanta will have Saddiq Bey available. He missed Saturday's game with a left ankle sprain that occurred late in the first half of Friday's game and Phoenix. He is listed as questionable.
The Clippers will be without Moussa Diabate (right hand fracture) but got Ivica Zubac back from a right calf strain on Sunday and he had four points and three rebounds in 18:20.
--Field Level Media