So much for containing Blake Griffin. Josh Smith has done a decent job guarding the Los Angeles Clippers standout, but he still seems to be able to break free, posting eight first quarter points for the Clippers.
But the Atlanta Hawks scored the last eight of the frame to take a 22-19 lead into the second.
Griffin is not the only one with some panache for the team from glitzy Tinseltown. Center DeAndre Jordan has had a couple of highlight reel dunks and lead all scorers with nine points in a game where the Hawks looked a bit soft inside for a good part of the first frame.
Atlanta has got things done with a bit of a well-balanced effort. Five Hawks players had four points each through the first 12 minutes of basketball. If there's one concern for Atlanta in this one, it's that they've had some issues attacking the paint against a very big and physical Clippers team and predictably, when the going gets tough, they've largely abandoned taking the contact inside to rely on the jumper instead.
That all changed in Atlanta's late run in the frame of what is looking like a very competitive basketball game at Philips Arena.