NBA

Short-handed Los Angeles Clippers take road win vs. Atlanta Hawks

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers has just opted out of his contract with the team which had a player option to test the free agency market this summer. But according to insiders, it is most likely that he will re-sign with the team when the free agency market opens on July 1.

The Los Angeles Clippers are without their main stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul but they still won handily over the Atlanta Hawks, 115-105 on Monday. Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford stepped up for the Clippers.

Rivers had a game-high 27 points, including five three-pointers, his fifth straight game scoring in double-figures. Crawford scored 8 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when the Hawks were trying to come back from the big lead.

Paul has not played in the last three games because of a finger injury. He underwent surgery this week and is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks. The Clippers are just 1-2 in Paul’s absence but Rivers has stepped up nicely.

Doc’s Son Stepping Up Without CP3

Rivers has scored 20, 16 and 27 the last three games. Meanwhile, Crawford found his shooting touch back after struggling in the previous game. Without Paul, the Clippers need more consistency in scoring from the veteran sixth man.

DeAndre Jordan had 7 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks while veteran Raymond Felton also played well in a start with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. J.J. Redick added 17 points with three three-pointers.

The Clippers led 30-21 after the first quarter and 58-40 at halftime. But the Hawks attempted a comeback in the third where they outscored L.A., 35-27. Atlanta cut it down to six, 107-101 with 2:17 to go in the game. But time ran out on the Hawks and the Clippers took the road win.

The Hawks were led by Dwight Howard, who had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Kent Bazemore led his team’s scoring with 25 points while Dennis Schroder and Paul Millsap added 21 and 19 points.

Rivers, Crawford and the Clippers must play well again in their next game when they face the surging Philadelphia 76ers on the road. Atlanta had a two-game winning streak snapped and will face the Chicago Bulls next.

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Photo Courtesy: Verse Photography/Flickr

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