ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks opened a 25-point lead over the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter Saturday night and cruised to a 104-93 win behind 19 points from Jeff Teague and 18 from Lou Williams off the bench.
Teague also had 11 assists for his second double-double in as many nights. Zaza Pachulia had a big night with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers almost made a game of it by outscoring the Hawks 23-9 in the fourth quarter, but Josh Smith put a stop to that with a 3-point shot with six minutes left. It was only the third 3-pointer he has hit this season.
Blake Griffin's 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists couldn't make a dent in the score, nor could Chris Paul's 19 points and seven assists. Eric Bledsoe chipped in with 12 points for the Clippers.
Griffin was feeling it from the first quarter, scoring 11 of the Clippers' 24 points and adding four rebounds and four assists to put the Clippers up 24-21.
But the Hawks took it to them in the second quarter, spreading the scoring among seven players. Teague led the way with 11 points and five assists, Williams had 11 points and Pachulia scored nine. But the Hawks got no scoring from Smith, who went to the bench with two early fouls. He finished with 17 points.
Not until 5:16 in the second quarter did the Clippers add to their first-quarter total, and that was when Griffin came into the game again. The half ended with the Hawks up 51-41, their bench outscoring the Clippers' 20-0.
NOTES: Devin Harris was out with turf toe in his left big toe, so Hawks coach Larry Drew started the same five players who began the game against the Clippers in their meeting in Los Angeles on Nov. 11: Teague, Kyle Korver, Smith, Al Horford and Pachulia. The Clippers beat the Hawks 89-76 in that game. . . . Horford, who had an uncharacteristically poor night at the free-throw line Wednesday against the Wizards -- 1 of 10 -- and was 0 of 1 against the Bobcats on Friday, sank 10 straight from the foul line in pregame warm-ups. . . . Drew is monitoring DeShawn Stevenson's minutes in back-to-back games; Stevenson has been dealing with intermittent lower back soreness. . . The Hawks had 30 and 29 assists in their previous two games (against the Wizards and Bobcats). . . . Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, asked before the game what he wanted to see his team work on, grinned as he replied, "There's not enough film in your camera." . . . Both teams were playing for a second straight night after traveling and both Drew and Del Negro emphasized the need for their respective teams to play with energy. . . . The Clippers were playing the finale of a four-game road trip. . . . Griffin averaged 22.8 points and 10 rebounds in his previous five career games against the Hawks.