The Lakers were 1-9 going into Tuesday against The Atlanta Hawks. To say that the Los Angeles was desperate for a win is an understatement.
The Lakers were blown out in embarrassing fashion on Sunday against Golden State, the same team that destroyed them in the first week of the season. While Kobe Bryant at the age of 36 with 18 years of tread under his belt is leading the league in scoring, there have not been many bright spots for the Lakers.
Nick Young would rejoin the club against the Hawks who are undefeated at home. They would need his scoring and energy off of the bench in an attempt to get their second win of the season.
The first minutes of the game were sloppy but Kobe went to work on a fade-away for the Lakers first points of the game. Wes Johnson, after a rough start, hit an outside shot but Paul Millsap responded tying the game at four. Millsap scored the Hawks first six points but Boozer hit his second shot to put the Lakers ahead early. Kobe was active on the defensive end creating a steal and getting an assist after finding Jeremy Lin on the fast break. Lin was feeling good after the hoop and hit a three but Millsap retaliated with a three-pointer of his own to make the score 13-11 Lakers halfway through the period. After a timeout, Nick Young entered the game for the first time this season. Millsap hit another shot for his 13th points of the night but Kobe hit a three and on the next possession Lin drove to the bucket for a bucket plus the free throw to give the Lakers the lead again. “Swaggy” hit his first two points on free throws to extend the Lakers run to 10-0 and making the score 23-15. Kobe hit a fade-away from the left baseline for his ninth points of the game and gave the Lakers a 10 point lead. Kobe found Young from beyond the arc to close the quarter to make the score 31-20.
Robert Sacre hit a big shot early in the quarter to keep a cushion between them and the Hawks. Young hit another jumper but the Hawks made a couple of buckets, as well. Boozer hit a floater in the lane but Mike Scott was scoring at will on him to cut the Laker lead to five as Byron Scott called a timeout. Jordan Hill checked in for Sacre and Young hit his ninth points of the game coming out of the timeout. After a Hawks bucket, Boozer scored four straight making the lead eight. The entire starting line-up entered the game with 6:36 to go in the half as the Lakers went on a run that included layup on a fast break from both Kobe and Boozer. Millsap crossed over Boozer and dunked on Hill for his 15th point of the game, but Kobe responded with a three for his 16th point and extended the Lakers lead. With under four minutes in the half remaining Kobe cleared out the lane for Lin who created an open look for Ed Davis for the layup. After an Atlanta free throw the Lakers lead was 14. Lin hit his 10th and 12th points of the game game and Davis made another layup , but Jeff Teague turned on the aggression hitting a runner in the lane. Kobe hit another 3 to keep the momentum with LA. Millsap matched Kobe’s total with 19 on a fast break dunk, but Boozer scored his 18th point on a tip-in to end the half and made the score 67-52 Lakers.
The Lakers gave up eight straight points in the lane to narrow the gap to seven. This run took all of about 90 seconds. Kobe got the ball stolen from him that lead to a dunk as the Lakers had not scored yet with three minutes gone by in the quarter. The Hawks hit a three to cut it to two but Johnson and Hill got back-to-back dunks to pull away. AL Horford hit a three to cut the lead to a copule,but Hill scored his 20th point off of a Kobe pass to extend the Lakers lead to seven. Paul Millsap, however, continued his hot shooting scoring his 25th point of the night. Hill came alive in the third quarter scoring his eighth point of the night and Lin found Davis for a huge jam to make the Lakers lead 83-76. Teague continued to torch the Lakers but Hill scored again on an outside jumper from about 18 feet. Lin, who had 14 points and 10 assists went to the line and made one of two free throws, but The Hawks were not going away as the Lakers lead was just five. Young continued to contribute hitting a three as time expired yet again to make the score 91-83 after three quarters.
Nick Young got the Lakers going to start the fourth period on a pull-up in the lane, but Horford responded with a bucket of his own. Sacre hit another outside shot from the right baseline as the bench of the Lakers gave the squad a 10 point lead again. Kyle Korver hit his first three of the night, however to cut the Lakers lead. Al Horford had a big dunk as the Hawks continued to claw back. Young hit his 16th point to stop the bleeding as Kobe came back into the game with six minutes left in the game. Millsap hit a free throw to cut the lead to four, but Kobe hit a big shot as he is accustomed of doing by hitting a fade-away from the right baseline. Kobe was shooting an efficient 7-11 from the field. After missing a three he came up with the loose ball and drove in for a layup for his 23rd point of the game. After a Hill put-back, Teague flew through the air for an impressive dunk and Millsap hit a three to cut the Lakers lead to three with a 2:52 remaining. Kobe hit a beautiful runner to put the Lakers up five with only two minutes remaining. A clear path foul by Lin allowed the Hawks to cut the lead to three, but the Lakers got a stop. Kobe would come down and hit a ridiculous jumper plus the foul to push the Lakers back ahead and gave him his 32,000th career point in the process. Young was fouled on a three, but made only one free throw as the Lakers clung to a four-point lead with less than a minute left. A Sefolosha layup cut the lead to three, but Jordan Hill scored on a putback with 17 seconds left to keep the Lakers ahead by two possessions. A deep Korver three cut the lead back down to two with only seven seconds left. Price made only one free throw giving the Hawks one more chance to tie the game, but Antic missed the three and the Lakers would hold on for their second win of the season 114-109.
Lakers vs. GSW: Kobe Talks Shaq Sitting Courtside, Team’s Mood