Hawks hope to stay hot against Clippers

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks have moved atop the standings in the Eastern Conference, but will face a stiff test Monday night when they visit the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Atlanta had been climbing the Eastern Conference standings with a tremendous run starting in late November, and it moved into first place with Toronto losing in Golden State on Friday.

Since losing to the Raptors on Nov. 26 to fall to 7-6, the Hawks have won 18 of 20 games, including seven straight against the West. Their six straight road wins overall are the most since 2011.

The Hawks earned another standout victory on Saturday, a 115-107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Paul Millsap scored 27 points to lead Atlanta to yet another impressive road win, as the Hawks look to sweep their western road trip after a win in Salt Lake City on Friday.

The Hawks had seven players in double figures in their victory over the Blazers.

Jeff Teague tallied 22 points and six assists, Kyle Korver made four 3- pointers en route to 14 points and Al Horford and Thabo Sefolosha netted 13 apiece.

"A lot of different guys played well," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. "Thabo coming off the bench was great."

DeMarre Carroll netted 11 and Pero Antic came off the bench with 10 points.

The Clippers have won three in a row and are 4-1 on a franchise-best nine-game homestand. LA will face the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat before hitting the road.

The Clippers' most recent victory was a laugher, a 127-91 drubbing of the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Chris Paul registered 24 points and 12 assists, and the Clippers pulled away in the second half. Los Angeles won the second half, 65-38.

"At the start of the third quarter we were not very active," Paul said. "Our defense slipped a little. Then we just turned it up a notch."

J.J. Redick tallied 17 points and Blake Griffin had 15 for the Clippers. Jordan Farmar chipped in 13, Jamal Crawford added 12 and Reggie Bullock scored 10 to lead the bench charge.

The Clippers shot 54.1 percent from the field and committed only nine turnovers. They forced 21 and scored 32 points from those miscues.

The Hawks bested the Clips by three in Atlanta on Dec. 23. They've won three of four against the Clippers, but are winless in their last three as the visitor in this series.