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All-Star break starts early for Hawks in rout by Clippers

Paul Millsap threw a lob pass to Dwight Howard. It bounced off the side of the backboard.

It was that kind of night for the Hawks.

The Hawks started the All-Star break somewhat early as they trailed by as many as 22 points on the way to a 99-84 loss to the Clippers Wednesday night at Staples Center. The Hawks could look different when they return from the hiatus with the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 23.

The Hawks (32-23) finished a west coast road trip with a 1-2 record and dropped back to fifth in the Eastern Conference. They failed in an attempt to move to a season-best 10 games over .500.

Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 15 points. Dwight Howard and Tim Hardaway Jr. each finished with 11 points. Howard added 15 rebounds. Hawks starters were a combined 18 of 50 shooting, including 4 of 17 from 3-point range.

The Clippers (35-21) won their fourth straight game. They swept the season series against the Hawks, winning both games without star point guard Chris Paul.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 17 points. J.J. Redick added 15 points and Austin Rivers added 13 points. DeAndre Jordan had 16 rebounds.

The Clippers took a 54-40 lead into intermission on the strength of their 3-point shooting. They were 10 of 20 from long range with eight different players making from the distance.

The Clippers led by as many as 14 points in the first half. The advantage would grow to as much as 22 points in the third quarter.

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