The LA Clippers came back from a 22-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Atlanta Hawks in a thriller at the Staples Center on Monday. It was arguably the greatest comeback by Tyronn Lue’s men against any team this season.
From trailing 88-66 in the third period, the LA Clippers went on a 53-22 run, with their bench orchestrating a phenomenal rally. The loss snapped the Atlanta Hawks' nine-game winning steak.
After the LA Clippers led 21-11 in the first quarter, the Atlanta Hawks turned things by half-time. A 28-point turnaround saw the Atlanta Hawks lead by 18 points before a three by Reggie Jackson cut their lead to 15, as they lead 63-48 heading into the third quarter.
On that note, here are the five hits and flops from either team in the exciting game:
Hit: Terance Mann (LA Clippers)
Kudos to coach Lue for benching his starters and bringing in the reserves with 6:29 to go in the third quarter. That certainly helped reverse the tide against the surging Atlanta Hawks.
At that point, the visitors were leading by 21 points. But Terance Mann paid little heed to that.
The 6' 5" shooting guard was a ball of energy on the floor, grabbing rebounds and attacking the paint relentlessly. His tireless play at both ends of the court against the Atlanta Hawks energized his teammates, including Luke Kennard, who had a monster performance as well.
Mann made the layup that tied the game at 103 apiece with 4:35 to go and drained the three that gave the LA Clippers the lead with 2:42 left in the game. That set up Kawhi Leonard to sink the Atlanta Hawks with two clutch 3-pointers.
Terance Mann ended the game with 21 points and ten rebounds.
Also Read: LA Lakers 94-111 Phoenix Suns: 5 hits and flops.
Flop: Paul George (LA Clippers)
One of the best two-way players in the game, Paul George, was off both offensively and defensively. The LA Clippers swingman had multiple opportunities to make a dent on the Atlanta Hawks’ lead, but he struggled for consistency all night.
He was not the only one on the night to miss wide-open shots. But for someone who has the liberty to attempt as many as he can, George put up an ungainly performance against the Hawks.
He shot 3 of 12 from the field and 2 of 7 from the three. Though he was inserted with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the LA Clippers forward was merely there as a decoy and to play defense.
Hit: Luke Kennard (LA Clippers)
Luke Kennard followed Mann’s lead and drained one jumper after the other, including a buzzer-beating three at the half-court line to end the third quarter.
He was unstoppable on the night as the Atlanta Hawks struggled to defend him. Whether he was taking the ball to the rack or taking outside shots, Kennard drilled everything he put up.
The 6' 5" LA Clippers guard stayed in the game until the final buzzer, and he deserved it.
He scored 20 points on a flawless 8 of 8 shooting, including 4 of 4 from the three for a perfect shooting performance to go along with seven rebounds and four assists.
Flop: Danilo Gallinari (Atlanta Hawks)
Danilo Gallinari had a good start, but everything quickly turned south for the Atlanta Hawks veteran. He took several shots from behind the arc that were way off target as his misses took momentum away from his team.
While there are many reasons why the Atlanta Hawks lost the game, the former LA Clippers forward is one of the biggest culprits. Gallinari shot just 2 of 9 from the field for six points in 24 minutes of playing time.
Interim coach Nate McMillan’s fault was in trusting the veteran to snap out of his funk, but that never happened.
Hit: Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
There are few players who can keep Trae Young in front of them defensively and the third-year guard showed that no one from the LA Clippers could keep up with him. Young sliced and diced his way through the home team’s defense to either make a basket for himself or pass to an open teammate.
The Atlanta Hawks guard led the run that nearly broke the LA Clippers’ back in the second quarter by making deep threes, floaters and dishing for alley-oops. Even when Kawhi Leonard was assigned to him, Young kept slipping away from the LA Clippers forward.
Young had 20 points at the half and finished with 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds. The only downside to his performance was that he couldn’t stave off the LA Clippers’ rally, as he missed a couple of threes in the fourth quarter.