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Hawks outlast short-handed Clippers, 108-99

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After being without Trae Young and Clint Capela for a game, both starters returned to the lineup for a battle against the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday night in State Farm Arena. The Atlanta Hawks have not been at full strength all season, but this is a matchup where they have been rather close to it.

Atlanta would handle the short-handed Clippers behind a fine offensive showing from Young, winning by a score of 108-99.

The Clippers cannot say that they were close to full strength as they were missing three starters against Atlanta. For people who tuned into watch Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, they will have to wait a few more games as they are undergoing COVID-19 safety protocols.

Capela made a huge impact in the opening period by corralling nine rebounds- five of them coming on the offensive end. His presence was a welcome sight for a team that lacks interior strength and defense when he’s off the floor.

There was not much separation between the two teams after one quarter. The teams seemed to answer almost every bucket, but the Hawks edged the Clippers 22-21 after one quarter of action.

The Hawks only shot 1-of-7 on threes in the first half, making there first and only deep ball of the first half with 4:28 left in the second quarter. Those seven three point attempts are a season-low for the Hawks in any half this season.

Young was the first player to reach double figures in scoring, coming at the end of the second quarter. He finished the first half leading the Hawks with 12 points. Capela, on the other hand, grabbed 11 rebounds before the second quarter buzzer sounded.

Towards the end of the second quarter, the Clippers were able to create just a little bit of separation, but only enough to top the Hawks 48-43 to end the first half. The most welcoming statistic for Atlanta in the first half was that they did not miss a single free throw, kicking down all 13 of their attempts.

It was a dunk fest for the Hawks to begin the third quarter. Capela threw the ball down twice and Collins slammed a nice lob from De’Andre Hunter.

The Hawks took their first lead of the second half after a Hunter three early in the third period.

Young hit back-to-back threes to help the Hawks grab onto a lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Kevin Huerter came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points in a row for Atlanta.

The Clippers were able to stay close, however, as it was just a five-point lead for Atlanta with 4:20 to play.

The Hawks were able to grind out the remaining moments behind free throws from Young, who finished 11-for-11 from the line. Young also hit a deep ‘dagger’ three to put Atlanta up 11 with 2:02 to play, sealing the win.

The Clippers would rally with a quick 6-0 run to get back within five, but Huerter hit a three on the ensuing possession to put the lead back to eight with 1:04 to play, closing the door on the comeback attempt.

Young led the way overall with 38 points and four assists in the win, his seventh 30-point game of the season. De’Andre Hunter had another nice showing with 22 points and four assists, while Capela added another double-double with 13 points and 19 rebounds.

Collins set a career high with five blocks to go along with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hawks will be back in action tomorrow evening against the Brooklyn Nets as they attempt to sweep the home back-to-back. Stay tuned.