Notebook: Clippers 89, Hawks 76



Posted Nov 11, 2012 7:31 PM

By Dan Arritt, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Los Angeles reserves Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes all scored in double figures Sunday afternoon and the trio combined to slam the door on the visiting Hawks in the fourth quarter of an 89-76 victory at Staples Center.

QUOTABLE: "We think our bench is better than a lot of starting units. When we go out there, we try to do a job, collectively. Everyone understands their role and we just try to be successful."

--Jamal Crawford

THE STAT: The Clippers came into the game ranked second in the NBA in bench scoring at 41.8 points a game this season. L.A. scored 35 against Atlanta, led by Bledsoe with 12 points, Crawford with 11 and Barnes 10. The reserves were responsible for 20 of the 24 points in the deciding fourth quarter.

TURNING POINT: Hawks reserve guard Devin Harris made a pull-up jumper on his team's first possession of the fourth quarter to cut L.A.'s lead to 65-62, but the Clippers responded with a 20-3 run to go up by 20 points with 3:48 remaining in the game. Bledsoe, Crawford and Barnes combined for 18 points in the spree.

HOT: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, after missing his first eight free throw attempts to start the season, went 2-for-2 from the line to extend his streak of successful free throws to seven. Jordan didn't reach double figures in scoring, however, finishing with eight points to end his string of double-digit games at three -- which tied a career long.

NOT: As much as Jordan has improved his free-throw shooting of late, Atlanta forward Josh Smith is heading in the opposite direction. Smith missed all four of his foul shots, dropping him to 2-for-14 on the season. Smith came into the season shooting 66.9 percent from the line in his first eight seasons in the NBA. Smith wasn't alone in his struggles from the line against the Clippers. The Hawks shot 7-for-16 as a team.

GOOD MOVE: The deep bench for the Clippers has allowed coach Vinny Del Negro to limit the minutes of his key starters through the first seven games. Blake Griffin averaged 38 minutes in his rookie season two years ago and 36.2 last season, but has played more than 35 minutes only once this fall. He played just over 30 minutes against the Hawks, including 1:11 in the fourth quarter, but still managed to score a team-high 16 points.

BAD MOVE: Atlanta small forward DeShawn Stevenson played the first four games for the Hawks, starting two, but didn't see the floor against the Clippers. Stevenson came in averaging 7.8 points in 26.1 minutes and did not have a turnover this season. With him on the bench, the Hawks committed a season-high 22 giveaways. They came in fifth in the league in fewest turnovers per game (13.5).

QUOTABLE II: "That was the first time that happened this year, where we had a letdown in the fourth. They made a run and we really didn't handle it as well as we could have."

--Atlanta forward Al Horford

NOTABLE: The Clippers were trying to start the season with a franchise-record seven straight games of 100 points or more. ... Shaquille O'Neal watched the game from courtside, but wasn't planning to stay around and watch his former team, the Lakers, host the Kings later Sunday night. ... The Hawks combined for 32 bench points, the first time this season they've been outscored by the opposition.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday vs. Miami, Saturday vs. Chicago, Nov. 19 @ San Antonio. For the Hawks, Monday @ Portland, Wednesday @ Golden State, Friday @ Sacramento.