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Clippers grab win against Hawks while looking to reduce errors

Blake Griffin & Chris Paul
Blake Griffin & Chris PaulNBA.com

The Los Angeles Clippers edged out the Atlanta Hawks for the 109-108 victory, for the seventh straight win.

The Clippers didn't play well in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter when they led by 11 points with about five minutes left.

Blake Griffin finished with 27 points, and 8 rebounds despite missing two critical free throws down the stretch. DeAndre Jordan came up with a huge block with less than 15 seconds left, that was the biggest impact on the outcome of the game. Jordan finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Paul finished with 19 points and 10 assist.

After the game, Doc Rivers let his team know he felt about their performance despite the win.

Chris Paul explained the attitude in the locker room, "I almost felt like we lost in the locker room. Because we expect a lot from ourselves, and the name of the game is to win the game." Paul continued, "We are happy we won, but obviously they're a lot of things that we as a team need to clean up."

The crucial turnovers that could cost the Clippers a great deal against a better more experienced team like the Oklahoma City Thunders, San Antonio Spurs, or Houston Rockets.

On Thursday night the Clippers handed the Los Angeles Lakers their worse loss in franchise history with a 48-point blowout.

"We had a lot of time to rest, and you should be better for the next game. We're finding ways to win with a lot of guys out," Doc Rivers said.

However there is one thing that continues to haunt Rivers, "we wouldn't win a lot of games with the way we turned the ball over and how careless we were with the basketball. Every night you're not going to play well, it's just human, but you can execute well or at least be in the right spots. The turnovers the last three or four games were just too casual."

Jamal Crawford, JJ Redick, and Jared Dudley all unavailable due to injuries, players like Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Danny Granger, and Matt Barnes must have an impact in each game heading into the playoffs. Barnes also expressed that he must continue to be more aggressive and cut down on his turnover mistakes.

With 18 games left for the Clippers, it's going to be a tight race in the Western Conference between the Thunders, Spurs, Rockets, and the Clippers. Every game is an opportunity to improve, fine tune, and gain ground to have the best opportunity heading into the playoffs.

"I don't know if you have to play well going into the playoffs, but you have to know who you are going into the playoffs," Rivers said. "Your guys have to trust. You have to know your team and they have to know each other and know their roles."

The Clippers have two more competitive home games against the Phoenix Suns, and the Golden State Warriors.

They must learn how to consistently close the door on each opponent, in order for the Clippers to achieve the maximum results they desire.