The Atlanta Hawks seized control early and cruised home Wednesday night with a 107-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena. Atlanta climbs back to .500 on the season with a 10-10 record.
Kyle Korver's return to the lineup gave the Hawks a boost in a big way as they grabbed their most significant win of the season to date over the Clippers. Korver wasted little time getting in on the action after sitting out the last four games with a rib injury. He knocked down his first look from deep to tie Dana Barros' all-time mark for consecutive games with a made three at 89. Korver will have a chance to set the all-time mark on Friday against the Cavaliers. That got the Atlanta offense rolling and the Hawks would lead 29-21 at the end of one.
Atlanta kept the pressure on in the second and took advantage inside of the Clippers' over aggressive defense. Paul Millsap and Al Horford worked the two man game to near perfection in the paint and Atlanta's ball movement was crisp overall. The lead grew to as much as 15 points in the second but four straight points to end the half by Los Angeles cut the lead to 55-44 at the break.
The Hawks began the third quarter with a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 16 points before the Clippers started to make a run. Los Angeles got as close as seven points several times in the quarter but the Hawks had always had an answer and took a 79-70 lead into the fourth.
The Clippers again made a charge to start the fourth and Chris Paul brought them to within five at 19-74 with 11:08 remaining. Atlanta answered with a leaning three-pointer by Lou Williams at the shot clock buzzer followed by a jumper from Millsap to push the lead back to 10. Los Angeles would not threaten again and the Hawks pulled away for the victory.
Millsap turned in a splendid performance to lead Atlanta finishing with 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Korver finished with 23 points on 8-12 shooting including 6-9 from behind the arc. Al Horford added 21 points and nine rebounds of his own.
Jeff Teague spent much of the evening in foul trouble and finished with just six points and six assists in 28 minutes. Atlanta did get a big lift from Shelvin Mack who finished with 12 points and five assists off the bench. DeMarre Carroll rounded out the Hawks' scorers in double figures with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Atlanta shot 51 percent from the field for the game and connected on 12-23 attempts from downtown. They racked up 28 assists while turning the ball over 13 times.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 24 points and seven rebounds but seemed powerless to slow down Millsap in the paint. Chris Paul logged another double-double finishing with 19 points and 11 assists. Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison added 13 points each.
Atlanta successfully carried over the momentum from Monday's close loss in San Antonio. The Hawks had lost five of six and grabbed a much needed win over a good team. Even better they put up a solid offensive performance even though Teague was held in check for most of the night.