Clippers look to snap season-long skid against Hawks
The Los Angeles Clippers, who have been plagued by a five-game losing streak for the season despite their long-awaited return to the full roster, will have a chance to take a step forward against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
A productive quartet returns after Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Luke Kennard and Norman Powell were sidelined for the first half of the season, but are still working on the remaining bumps, bruises and much-needed vacations.
Their on-again, off-again status prevents the game plan from taking hold.
The Clippers finished just 2-6 after a difficult period playing 7 of 8 away games. They had back-to-back wins in Detroit and Toronto just after Christmas, but his current five-game slide began with his 116–110 loss in Boston on December 29th.
In Friday’s 128-115 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, neither Leonard nor George played on the second night of the back-to-back streak, which included a 122-91 loss to Denver on Thursday. .
Kennard did not play in the fourth quarter Friday due to continued soreness in his injured calf. Nicholas Batum, meanwhile, was sidelined with his ankle injury. George tweaked a previously injured hamstring on Monday.
The Clippers are just 21-20 in a season with NBA Finals ambitions after Leonard returned from knee surgery.
Clippers head coach Tyrone Lu said, “A lot of people talk about continuity and things like that, but we’ve been together for three years, so there’s continuity, but playing[together]is out there. It’s a losing streak that rivals his longest as a Clippers head coach. “So you have to get healthy and work it out from there.
“But once you get healthy and understand the rotation, I have no doubt it will work. It was a difficult year for everyone to get healthy and play at the same time.”
The Hawks are well aware of the Clippers’ frustration. Atlanta, a participant in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, is 18-21 with the planned midpoint arriving on Wednesday.
The Hawks trailed 70-49 at halftime, including a 130-114 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday. His four-game run in a row in California ends Sunday.
Trae Young scored 21 of 32 points in the second half and made his way to the Hawks on Friday. He also added nine assists. John Collins, DeAndre Hunter and Dejounte Murray each scored his 16 points. Collins and Hunter each had eight rebounds, but Atlanta trailed him 51-39.
“We hit some good shots in the first half and had some open looks, but those shots just didn’t work,” said Hawks head coach Nate McMillan. “You have to go back (in defense) and change ends and stop transitions. We didn’t do that. )…I don’t know what to say about that.”
Hawks big man Clint Capela, who sat out Friday with a calf injury, has missed nine of his last 10 games.
–Field level media
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