Clippers struggle in shocking upset loss to Hawks, 110-93

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Clippers played poorly all-around against Atlanta, who were without star point guard Trae Young and coming off of a three-game rut.

LOS ANGELES — In a shocking turn of events, the Los Angeles Clippers fell to a recently-struggling Atlanta Hawks team Sunday at Arena, 110-93. 

The Clippers played poorly all-around against Atlanta, who were without star point guard Trae Young (left hand) and coming off of a three-game rut.

LA shot 37.8% from the field, 30.6% from three-point range and collected just 17 assists in its home arena. The team also finished with 16 turnovers against the Hawks.

De’Andre Hunter outscored the Clippers bench 20-17 for Atlanta.

Turning point: The Hawks jumped out a 31-29 lead at the end of the first quarter. They then went on to outscore the Clippers 30-15 in the second quarter to claim the 61-44 lead at halftime. The Clippers shot just six of 23, including one 1-10 in 3-pointers in that period.

What it means: After having the number one seed within arms reach, the Clippers (42-25) now find themselves one game ahead of the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The team also lost four of their last five after Sunday’s bout.

With playoffs around the corner the team will have to turn things around – and stay healthy.

Hits: Kawhi Leonard was a silver lining with a decent performance. He scored 17 points in the first quarter, the second-most points he has had in the opening period of a regular-season game in his 12-year career.

Misses: The Clippers struggled on both sides of the ball, but on defense they allowed 34 3-point attempts from Atlanta, who is seeded tenth in the East. The team created room for the Hawks to shoot 48.8% from the field and 50% from three-point range.

Aside from stats, LA was also without its sixth man Norman Powell and Russell Westbrook. Powell didn’t play due to a left lower leg contusion, his second game missed of the season.

Stat of the game: Aside from the loss, James Harden managed to make history in the Clippers’ loss Sunday. He passed the legendary Vince Carter for 20th place on the NBA’s all-time points list. 

Despite the achievement, Harden also struggled offensively against Houston. He shot 3-10 from the field, but also dished out nine points, nine assists, six rebounds, one steal, and one block in the game.

Up next: The Clippers will head up north this week to Portland to take on the Trailblazers for two games March 20 and 22.