Blake Griffin loses control of the ball while being defended by Atlanta's… (Erik S. Lesser / EPA )
ATLANTA — — It seems as if every opponent is willing to give Blake Griffin the jump shot rather than have the Clippers All-Star power forward dunk.
Griffin is aware of that. His teammates are aware of that.
That's why Griffin said his teammates encourage him to shoot the jump shots.
Against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night, Griffin didn't hesitate.
Griffin was particularly good in the first half, shooting eight for 13 from the field for 19 points.
Griffin finished with 22 points on nine-for-17 shooting.
"If I miss a couple in practice, they say, 'Keep shooting it. We see you every day before practice working with [Clippers shooting coach] Bob Thate,' " Griffin said about his teammates. "That gives me confidence. Now I know that if I miss a couple, I can get it going. It's just a matter of doing it."
Jamal Crawford recalls time with the Hawks
Over his 13-year NBA career, Jamal Crawford has played for six teams, so it would only make sense for the Clippers guard to play against some of them.
Saturday night, it was Atlanta's turn.
Crawford played two seasons with the Hawks. He spent his first four seasons with the Chicago Bulls, four-plus seasons with the New York Knicks, about two seasons with the Golden State Warriors and last season with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Crawford was told that Atlanta Coach Larry Drew has a picture in his office that has Crawford in it with several other players.
Crawford, who won the NBA's sixth-man-of-the-year award with the Hawks, last played with Atlanta in 2010-11.
"I think maybe New York was the most like home because I was there the longest," Crawford said. "But I think this city is right up there. They really embraced me from day one. They treated me great, the whole city, not just the team and the organization."
Crawford had 12 points on three-for-eight shooting against the Hawks.
He even converted a four-point play, making a three-point basket and a free throw after being fouled.
"It's weird how my career has gone," Crawford said. "I came in at 19 and this will be 13 years and I feel like I'm just now like in my prime. It's just so weird because I didn't really play a lot my first four years. I only went to a year in school in college [Michigan]. It's just so weird how things have worked out. I played in some great cities."