In Monday’s game, Kawhi Leonard showcased his scoring prowess by contributing 10 of his 36 points in the last five minutes, aiding the Los Angeles Clippers in securing a 149-144 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. This triumph extended the Clippers’ winning streak to four games. Leonard, who had earlier been named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week, took charge with a crucial putback basket at 4:52, followed by a significant contribution of six points during consecutive possessions. This included a three-point play and a successful 3-pointer, ultimately providing the Clippers with the necessary separation for the win.
The victory over the struggling Hawks was a perfect example of the scrappy, feisty Clippers team Doc Rivers has built over the past few months. Against a team ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in defensive efficiency, the Clippers pounced early and often on both ends of the floor, racking up 21 points off turnovers to the Hawks’ seven.
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In addition to the Clippers’ offensive juggernaut, the bench also made a significant contribution. Dejounte Murray (26 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and Trae Young (27 points, six rebounds) each made at least eight field goals, while Andre Carter (16 points) and Jared Dudley (15 points) also reached double figures off the bench.
The loss was the Hawks’ first this season when they did not score at least 100 points. Atlanta shot 49 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite the setback, the Hawks remain in good shape for the playoffs. They have won three of their last four games and are a half-game out of the No. 8 seed in the East, trailing the No. 5 Boston Celtics by two games.
Hawks center Clint Capela sat out with a left adductor strain and could miss up to seven to 10 days. Starting center, Ivica Zubac was also out with a right calf strain, and center Saddiq Bey is day to day with a right ankle sprain.