Originally created 01/29/97

Blaylock hits seven treys in 34-point show for Hawks



LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mookie Blaylock almost couldn't miss, especially from long-range.

Blaylock scored 34 points and tied a career-high with seven 3-pointers as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 112-96 Tuesday night.

Blaylock hit six 3-pointers in the second half, equaling a club record shared by Matt Bullard and Dominique Wilkins. He fell five short of his career high of 39 points.

"If you get a lot of open shots like I had, you're going to make some. It felt good," said Blaylock, who missed just five of his 18 field-goal attempts and only four of his 11 3-point attempts.

As a team, the Hawks were 11-of-18 from 3-point range - equaling the most 3s made by a Clippers' opponent this season - and shot 57 percent from the field.

Christian Laettner added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who have won 12 of their last 13. Dikembe Mutombo had 14 points, nine rebounds and eight of their nine blocked shots.

"He's the missing link of their ballclub," Clippers coach Bill Fitch said of Mutombo. "You've got a guy like that on your ballclub, you take him to lunch once in a while."

It was the start of a six-game road trip for Atlanta, which is 10-11 on the road and 18-1 at home.

"The first game on the road is important, to set a tone for the rest of the trip," Atlanta coach Lenny Wilkens said. "I thought Dikembe and Christian both stepped up big in the second half, but I want them to step up from the beginning of the game."

Darrick Martin led Los Angeles with 20 points. He sprained his right ankle in the second quarter, but had it taped and soon returned.

Los Angeles got within three points on a basket by Pooh Richardson late in the third quarter. But Atlanta used a 12-4 spurt to close out the first half ahead 58-47.

A 3-pointer by Malik Sealy cut the Clippers' deficit to single digits for the final time at 68-59 with 7:30 remaining in the third.

Blaylock scored eight points in a 19-11 spurt that gave Atlanta an 87-70 lead heading into the fourth quarter. In the third, Blaylock hit four 3-pointers.

"We were challenged," Atlanta's Steve Smith said. "We just had a pretty good run and sustained it. They were a team we were worried about because they beat Seattle and they've been playing well."

Blaylock's final 3-pointer pushed Atlanta's advantage to 101-80 with 6:35 remaining in the game.

Notes: Clippers guard Brent Barry missed the game after spraining his ankle in practice Saturday. He missed the first 14 games of the season with a strained left thumb. ... Laettner and Mutombo made the Eastern Conference All-Star reserve team announced Tuesday. It's Laettner's first All-Star team, and Mutombo's fourth after three previous berths on the Western Conference squad. ... The Hawks, who opened a six-game western road trip Tuesday, have won the last five meetings against the Clippers. ... Clippers center Stanley Roberts was activated Tuesday and played 10 minutes in place of Dwayne Schintzius, who was placed on the injured list with a strained lower back. Roberts had been sidelined since Dec. 10 with a ruptured disc in his lower back. ... Wilkens and former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Tommy Davis, who attended Brooklyn's Boys High together, renewed acquaintances before the game.