Hawks Cruise Past Clippers As Kyle Ties All-Time Three-Point Streak

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Robby Kalland

Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

Kyle Korver wasted no time tying Dana Barros’ record of 89 consecutive games with a three-pointer, knocking down a triple on the first Hawks’ possession of the game. Korver showed no ill-effects from his rib injury that held him out of the last four games, as he went 8-of-12 from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range for a season-high 23 points.

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Korver Ties Record

“It’s a team streak…I’m glad it’s done. It was a long period of time. Then this rib thing happens, and it’s just like, come on, man. Let’s get this thing over with. I think the happiest person was probably my wife. I was just not fun to be around the last five days at the house…I couldn’t really exercise or do things…I’m just sitting at home watching season one of Arrow.”

“Can I follow Kyle’s suit [and not talk about the streak]?,” quipped Coach Budenholzer. “Yeah, I guess the rib became a non-issue, and I guess the streak became a non-issue pretty early. I think we’re all just happy to see Kyle healthy. He’s a heck of a shooter, and he showed that tonight, and he really adds to us. I think he’s really underrated as a team defender and what he adds to both ends. The group obviously welcomes him back.”

The entire Hawks offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Clippers, and the Hawks shot 51.2% (42-of-82) from the field and 52.2% (12-of-23) from three-point range (A season best on made threes and three-point percentage for the team). The success of the Hawks offense started with working inside-and-out, creating open shot attempts by forcing the defense to collapse on penetration and post-ups. The Hawks pace and ball-movement was also excellent, with 28 assists on their 42 made shots. Tonight was the 18th time the Hawks have posted 20+ assists in a game.

“I think the pace and the purpose that we’ve played with the last couple games has been what we want it to be,” said Bud. “To be honest with you, it starts with defense. If you’re taking the ball out of the net a lot it’s hard, and I think we got enough stops, I thought we gang-rebounded, and we were able to get out and run there. I thought we executed our motion pretty good, and we also executed some half-court, traditional looks. It was a little mix of everything, but I think the pace is always something we’re harping on.”

Paul Millsap had a monster game going up against Blake Griffin, posting 25 points (12-of-20 shooting), nine rebounds, six assists, and three blocked shots. Millsap attacked Griffin early and  had 11 points and six rebounds in the first quarter, asserting himself in the post and around the basket.

“As a team, we were moving the basketball. They were playing aggressive on our hedges and our pick-and-rolls so we were able to get the swing and get the ball to the middle and make plays that way…In the past, we’ve always had battles when I’ve played with [Griffin]. We were able to contain him in the first half, and for the most part we were able to keep him in front of us.

Millsap’s frontcourt mate Al Horford also had a big night with 21 points (8-of-17 shooting) with nine rebounds. The pair took advantage of the Clippers’ bigs in post-ups and on pick-and-roll/pop plays. Coming into the game, the Clippers ranked 29th in the NBA defending pick-and-roll roll-men allowing 1.17 PPP, per Synergy Sports, and those struggles continued in Atlanta.

“Well, I mean, we were playing through the post a lot more. Normally, we don’t get established necessarily in there, but today, for whatever reason, we were getting the ball in and Paul got it going. I was able to score a little bit, but the key was just to use our quickness, because those guys are so athletic and they’re so good if you just try to muscle them…No, no, we didn’t know [they had been struggling against the pick-and-roll]. We just played our normal game, and took advantage of what they gave us.”

Shelvin Mack provided the Hawks a boost of the bench with 12 points, four rebounds, and five assists in 24 minutes of play. Shelvin was pressed into action with Jeff Teague (six points, six assists, and five fouls) getting into foul trouble, and Mack took advantage of the opportunity.

“Jeff had a little foul trouble throughout the game and I felt like it was my job to come in and provide energy and push the pace and try to get easy shots for us, and I think I was able to do that.”

“He just stuck with what we’re doing,” said Bud. “I think as much as possible, whether this guy’s playing or this guy’s not, we want to build something where everybody feels comfortable, everybody feels confident. There’s a system, there’s a structure, and as a group we can withstain foul trouble, injury, whatever it may be, and Shelvin just came in and was aggressive and confident. He’s a competitor, at the end of the day he’s really got that competitive streak and that helps him have success.”

DeMarre Carroll quietly put forth another good game, defending well on the wing and putting up 12 points and seven rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting and was a perfect 2-for-2 from three-point range. Carroll is averaging 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in his past four games, and is shooting 54.5% from three in that stretch.

The Hawks put up a solid defensive effort along with their blistering offensive efficiency. They held the Clippers to under 100 points, which opponents have only done four previous times this season (Clippers now 1-4 when scoring under 100). Griffin had a good offensive night with 24 points, seven boards, and four assists on 10-of-17 shooting, but the Hawks kept DeAndre Jordan from getting loose on the pick-and-roll keeping Jordan to six points and 13 rebounds.

Chris Paul had 19 points and 11 assists, but the Hawks forced him to take a lot of mid-range jumpers, which led to an inefficient 7-for-17 shooting night. The Hawks bigs’ stepped out to prevent Paul from driving and the guards did well to fight through screens on the perimeter.

The Hawks improve to 10-10 and move into a tie for third in the Eastern Conference. They will play Cleveland at home on Friday night, where Korver can break the all-time record, and the game has been picked up by SportsSouth to broadcast locally.

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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