NBA regular season

Trae Young leads Hawks past shorthanded Clippers

Trae Young leads Hawks past shorthanded Clippers

TRIBUTE. Trae Young gestures with the number 24, the jersey number of Kobe Bryant, in honor of the NBA legend’s death anniversary.

Photo from Atlanta Hawks

Hawks star Trae Young erupts for 38 points against a Clippers side that played minus Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Trae Young returned to the Atlanta lineup and scored 38 points, his third straight game with 30-plus points, and the Hawks defeated the shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers, 108-99, on Tuesday, January 26 (Wednesday, January 27, Philippine time) in Atlanta.

Young, who missed Sunday’s game at Milwaukee with back spasms, was 12-for-23 from the floor, including 3 three-pointers, and was 11-for-11 from the line, as the Hawks won for the fourth time in 5 games.

Also returning for Atlanta was Clint Capela, who missed the last game with right hand soreness. Capela had 13 points and 19 rebounds, his third straight game with at least 19 rebounds.

The Clippers were playing without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who did not make the trip. The duo was left behind because of the league’s health and safety protocols involving COVID-19. Los Angeles was also without Patrick Beverley, who missed the game with right knee soreness.

Atlanta also got 22 points from De’Andre Hunter, 13 points from Kevin Huerter – all in the 4th quarter – and 11 points and 11 rebounds from John Collins.

Reggie Jackson led Los Angeles with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists and Serge Ibaka added 15 points. Ivica Zubac and Luke Kennard both scored 13.

Atlanta led 22-21 after the opening quarter, but the Clippers had a late surge in the 2nd quarter and took their largest lead of the half on Ibaka’s hook shot with 1:00 left. Los Angeles had a 48-43 halftime lead.

The Hawks came back to tie the game 55-55 on a basket by Capela and enjoyed a seven-point lead when Hunter made a pair of free throws with 54 seconds remaining for a 75-68 lead.

Los Angeles had a 78-75 advantage on a Zubac slam, but Huerter changed the momentum with a pair of three-pointers and a layup to restore the lead to 5 points, and Hunter scored off a Solomon Hill steal for an 86-79 lead with 7:55 remaining.

The Hawks complete a back-to-back on Wednesday when they host the Brooklyn Nets. The Clippers continue their six-game road trip on Thursday against Miami. –

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