(Photo Credit: Soaring Down South)
Hawks fly past Clippers in upset win
By Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
The Atlanta Hawks came into Staples Center with only 15 wins on the season. Despite having a young, talented dynamic duo in rookie Trae Young and sophomore forward John Collins, the Staples Center crowd were more excited to see 42-year-old Vince Carter, in what could be his final appearance in LA.
However, while some focused on the past in Carter, they certainly got a taste of the future with what Young and Collins displayed. The young studs for the Hawks led their team to a 123-118 win over the Los Angeles Clippers (28-23) on Monday night.
Young had 26 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds while doing most of his damage in the first half.
In the fourth quarter, he made some winning plays to keep Atlanta in control. He crossed over Montrezl Harrell on a drive to the hoop for a layup, and then battled past the tough defense of Patrick Beverley to find Dwayne Dedmon for a dunk which followed with a stare down of Bev.
Perhaps his biggest play of the night is when he nailed a 30-foot three-pointer over Harrell again to seal the deal for the Hawks (16-33), displaying an accurate impersonation of Steph Curry. Despite shooting 1 of 6 from downtown throughout the game, he made a clutch one when the game was still in doubt.
Head coach Doc Rivers was more impressed with Young’s all-around performance than just that big three.
“Good for him, he deserves it,” Rivers said about Young’s three. “I thought he played a great floor game. I think he’s a better floor player; I don’t think people give him enough credit. I thought he controlled the game personally.”
“It wasn’t his shooting; I thought it was his leadership, his passing,” Rivers continued. “I thought he completely controlled the entire game.”
Young’s running mate Collins had 22 points and six rebounds, continuing to make an All-Star case for himself.
“It would definitely be a huge accomplishment,” Collins said about potentially being named a All-Star. “If I were to be selected, I would be joyous, super happy. I think I have earned it.”
Another player continuing to make an All-Star case was Clippers forward Tobias Harris, who had a game-high 30 points also adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
He was one of seven Clippers players to score in double figures, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Hawks as defense was once again a problem, especially on opposing big men.
Dedmon and Alex Len were consistently punishing the Clippers on the glass and offensively in the paint. Dedmon finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Len had 19 points and 9 rebounds.