Kawhi Leonard on Clippers’ 6-game slide
LOS ANGELES — Ty Lue tried to shake up his starting lineup by replacing him Reggie Jackson in base, but the clippers looked at him Atlanta Hawks‘ Bring on Young take over in the fourth quarter and hand Los Angeles a sixth straight loss.
Young scored 14 of his 30 points in the final 6:27 to erase an 11-point Clippers lead and help Atlanta escape Crytpo.com Arena with a Victory 112-108 sunday night
Leonard said this is a good test to see if the Clippers can persevere.
“I think it’s still good,” Leonard said when asked about the team’s chemistry as it faces its biggest adversity of the season. “The guys are still positive.
“This is the place where [the Clippers] let’s see if you really enjoy the game and if we’re a team, let’s see if we can dig this hole out. It is fun. It’s a good challenge for us.”
The Clippers have been unable to stay healthy and were without George (right hamstring) for the second straight game. Luke Kennard also came out with a calf problem.
But the Clippers have also played stretches during this slump lacking defense, energy, urgency and pace. Lue decided to insert Terence Mann in the starting lineup for Jackson, who had been the starting point guard for the past two seasons. Jackson played just eight minutes, all in the first half, and was held scoreless.
Mann finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in 35 minutes.
“I thought defensively we were pretty good,” Lue said. “I’m still learning how to play with TMann at point guard, but when PG comes back, he can help with that, too. I thought he was pretty good overall.”
When asked if Jackson is the odd man out in the rotation right now, Lue said he was looking for ways to get the Clippers back.
“No, I just think it was Reggie tonight,” Lue said. “Then tomorrow, it could be somebody else. Just experimenting with different things. When you lose five games in a row, you want to try different things.”
The Clippers trailed by 17 late in the second quarter, but came back with a 40-17 run. They led 102-91 after Leonard (29 points) hit a 3 with 6:45 left. But Young took over and hit two 10-foot floaters with less than 47.7 seconds left to help the Hawks win.
Now the Clippers will try to stop their slide against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at home. After that, the Clippers take on the two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the nuggets at home after losing by 31 to Denver last Thursday.
“We have to stick together,” the veteran forward said Nic Batum. “I mean, it’s not pretty, it’s not easy right now. But we can’t be apart, so we have to stay together… it’s not easy right now. It’s not pretty, that’s for sure. But we can’t just relax “.
Batum also said the players will stick with Jackson after the fan favorite didn’t play in the second half.
“It’s not easy for some players in some games like this,” Batum said. “I have to keep talking to Reggie. I mean how many times has Reggie saved us [before]? That’s why people love him. That’s why they sing his name because he’s a great player…yeah, it’s tough because we want to have Reggie on the court, we want to see him perform, but tonight the coach made some choices.
“So we have to stick with our brother. … He already knows what he can bring to this team. So we’re going to need Reggie at some point.”
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