The Clippers closed out their seven game Grammys road trip with another tight game, beating the Atlanta Hawks, 149-144 to finish with a franchise-best 6-1 record across the trip. Check out how it played out below:
To start the game, Clippers did not look like a team that just flew into the city the night before. They put up 37 points in the first quarter and led by as much as 13 in the first two quarters. Unfortunately, that lead was gone—and the scored was tied—by half time because the Clippers gave up an 8-0 run to end the second quarter. Through one half, the Clippers were shooting extremely well (58% from the field and 52% from three), but their defense allowed the Hawks to likewise shoot over 50% from the field and three, as well as gave the Hawks a free throw advantage.
In the second half, the Clippers were led by Kawhi Leonard, who scored 22 of his 36 in the back half of the game, as well as James Harden (17 of his 30 in the half). The Hawks stayed in the game through timely shots by Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and—annoyingly—De’Andre Hunter, who scored 27 points in 19 minutes. The Clippers were lucky Hunter was on a minutes restriction as he continues to ramp up from injury.
The Final Grammys Road Trip?: The Clippers’ infamous Grammys road trips are, of course, caused by the fact that the Crypto-dot-com Arena (née STAPLES Center) hosts the Grammys. With the Clippers moving to their own arena, one can assume these Grammys trips are no more. If so, going 6-1 on the final vacation is a pretty nice way to go out.
Managing Zubac: Ivica Zubac, who played against the Heat on Sunday night, sat tonight with the injury report categorization of “injury management.” It was probably the right call, given that the Hawks are not world beaters, but the Clippers missed him. The Hawks grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second chance points. Although Plumlee and Theis were fine in their respective minutes, Ty Lue decided to close without a center; instead, the Clippers finished with Harden, Westbrook, George, Leonard, and Coffey. On Wednesday, back in Los Angeles, the Clippers will face one of their true demons—Jonas Valančiūnas—so hopefully Zubac will be ready to go.