ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Rivers scored 27 points and Jamal Crawford broke out of a shooting slump with 19, helping the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 on Monday night.
Crawford had eight points in the fourth quarter, including a driving basket after Atlanta cut the Clippers’ lead from 24 to five points.
Kent Bazemore led the Hawks with 25 points. Dennis Schroder had 21, and Dwight Howard added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Crawford had made only 7 of 41 shots in his last four games, and his shooting woes were the subject of a pregame question to coach Doc Rivers just as the guard walked by. Rivers shifted the question to Crawford, who had a quick answer.
“Let’s change that narrative tonight,” Crawford said.
Crawford followed through with the plan, making 9 of 20 shots.
Austin Rivers’ 3-pointer with 54 seconds remaining helped seal the win.
The Clippers improved to 3-7 while playing without stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Griffin, who had arthroscopic right knee surgery on Dec. 20, warmed up before the game and Doc Rivers said he “most likely” will play Tuesday night at Philadelphia.
Paul is expected to miss six to eight weeks after tearing a ligament in his left thumb on Jan 16.
The Clippers led 69-45 before Atlanta finally gained momentum late in the third period. Back-to-back three-point plays by Howard cut the lead to 79-71. The Hawks kept the deficit under 10 points much of the final period.
Clippers: J.J. Redick had 17 points and Raymond Felton had 14. … Austin Rivers sat on the court holding his ankle following a missed layup and then left the game, heading straight to the locker room, with 1:58 remaining in the first half. He returned to start the second half.
Hawks: The Hawks took only their third loss in their last 14 games. … Paul Millsap had 19 points and seven assists. … Falcons players Brian Poole and Taylor Gabriel drew cheers when shown on the videoboard, one day after Atlanta beat Green Bay in the NFC championship game. … The Hawks fell to 22-6 when scoring at least 100 points.
Clippers: Visit 76ers on Tuesday night.
Hawks: Play at Chicago on Wednesday night.