Blake Griffin scored 17 points and the Los Angeles Clippers handed the city of Atlanta their second heartbreaking loss in as many weeks, 99-84, over the Hawks on Wednesday night at Staples Center.
The reigning NBA Player of the Week continued his assault on opposing teams as Griffin finished with nine assists, five rebounds and two blocks in just 29 minutes of action.
"Figuring out how to play without a guy like Chris [Paul] has been difficult, but when he comes back, we will be better having gone through this," said Griffin of the the team's recent stretch without their All-Star point guard. "Guys have stepped up and been great. That will help us down the stretch."
The matchup was touted as a battle between two of the NBA's top big men, but it was the Clippers' guards who stole the show, making 14 three-pointers from beyond the arc (That's a lot of Bingos).
However, DeAndre Jordan (16) and Dwight Howard (15) went toe-to-toe when it came to cleaning up on the glass as the duo combined for 31 rebounds in the game.
"Our defense last game was a lot better than it has been and tonight we picked up where we left off," said Jordan. "We're doing a better job of trusting each other.
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After a competitive first quarter that saw the Hawks lead by a point, the Clippers opened up the game on a 29-12 run in the second quarter and cruised the remainder of the way, leading by as many as 22 points in the final frame.
The play of the game came at the end of the half when Griffin took an ill-advised shot, but he was bailed out by Jordan who caught the ball in midair and dunked it home at the buzzer.
J.J. Redick had 15 points on five three-point shots as five Clippers' players scored in double figures.
Dennis Schroeder led Atlanta with 15 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in 11. The Hawks lone All-Star, Paul Millsap was held to just eight points on the night, well below his average of 18.1 per game.
"I don't know why that is, but I want us to keep doing it," head coach Doc Rivers said of the team's second straight superior defensive effort. "If you look at the steals tonight, it was all on solid defense. It wasn't gambling. It was solid defense pull-ins, deflections, that tells you everybody was pretty active."
"They had good pressure against me," responded Millsap. "I remember throwing a few away, unforced. It was them being aggressive and taking away what we do."
It was the first Clippers victory over the Hawks at home since March 8, 2014.
The Clippers ride into the All-Star break on a four-game win streak and will open up in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors on February 23.
It was a star-studded affair at Staples Center as Floyd Mayweather, Mariah Carey, Anthony Anderson, Kid Ink and Billy Crystal all were spotted courtside.