Paul George Questions Team's Identity After Blowout Loss to Hawks

Hawks soar high with surprising triumph over Clippers.

by Nouman Rasool
Paul George Questions Team's Identity After Blowout Loss to Hawks
© David Berding/Getty Images

The LA Clippers, led by Paul George, found themselves on the wrong end of a 110-93 rout at the hands of a depleted Atlanta Hawks team this past Sunday, casting a shadow of doubt over the Clippers' readiness for the upcoming playoffs.

Despite a commendable 54-point effort from stars George and Kawhi Leonard, the rest of the team struggled to leave a mark, failing to score in double digits. The game saw the Hawks seizing control in the second quarter with a 30-15 run, establishing a 61-44 lead by halftime.

Their dominance only grew, pushing the lead to 29 points, although the Clippers managed a late, albeit insufficient, rally to close the gap to 17 points by the final buzzer.

Hawks' Standout Performances

Atlanta's unexpected victory was fueled by standout performances, particularly from Dejounte Murray, the star combo guard who tallied 21 points, 10 assists, and sank five 3-pointers, hitting the 50% shooting mark.

Jalen Johnson's versatility was on full display as he amassed 18 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, alongside three steals and three 3-pointers, also shooting 50%. De'Andre Hunter added to the Hawks' offensive onslaught with 20 points on an impressive 61.5% shooting.

The Clippers, who seemed disengaged throughout the game, face questions about their consistency and identity, highlighted by George's post-game remarks. Acknowledging the team's fluctuating effort levels, George expressed concern over the lack of a clear identity, a sentiment echoed by coach Ty Lue.

Lue warned of the dangers of underestimating opponents and the necessity of consistent effort and competitiveness. This loss is part of a worrying trend for LA, which has dropped four of its last five games, compromising its defensive effectiveness significantly.

Despite these struggles, the Clippers still hold the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings but are closely followed by the New Orleans Pelicans, making their grip on homecourt advantage for the playoffs increasingly precarious.

Looking ahead, the Clippers have an opportunity to regain momentum with upcoming games against the Portland Trail Blazers. Meanwhile, the Hawks aim to continue their winning ways in LA, facing off against the Lakers next. This period of uncertainty for the Clippers underscores the urgency for improved performance and cohesion as the playoffs approach, putting the team's resilience and adaptability to the test.

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