Lakers vs. Hawks Game Recap: Lakers Come Up Short Against Atlanta

Lakers vs. Hawks Game Recap: Lakers Come Up Short Against Atlanta


© Daniel Shirey
© Daniel Shirey
After the Lakers picked up their first win snapping a three-game losing streak with Kobe Bryant back in the starting  lineup, they travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks in the first game of a back-to-back set. Although the Lakers struggled somewhat against the Bobcats, they were still able to pick up a well-earned victory.

First Quarter

The Lakers came out and tried to establish a presence in the paint with Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill scoring the first 14 points for the Lakers, while the Hawks struggled to find offense. Kobe tried to establish himself as more of a point guard instead of a scorer as his first shot did not come until the 6:30 mark in the quarter.

But as they usually do, the Lakers struggled with turning the ball over as they committed five turnovers. Kobe committed four of the five turnovers.

Pau and Kobe both had huge quarters as Pau finished with 10 points on 5-5 shooting and six rebounds, while Kobe finished the quarter with six points and two assists.

Score: Lakers lead the Hawks 28-20 at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

After an impressive first quarter start, the Lakers came out in the second quarter riding the hot hand of Nick Young who scored the first five points in the quarter for purple and gold.

While the Lakers second unit was able to hold the lead, they did not play well enough to extend what was an eight-point lead to start out the quarter. However, Coach Mike D’Antoni continued to stick with the second unit and ride Nick Young and Xavier Henry as long he possibly could while the Hawks continued to chip away at the Lakers lead by attacking the undersized front court of the Lakers’ Robert Sacre and Shawne Williams.

At the six minute mark, D’Antoni put Kobe, Pau, and Jordan Hill back in the game to try and put an end to the Hawks’ small run but were unable to keep the lead as the Hawks tied the game up at 43-43 with 3:30 left in the quarter.

The Lakers managed to regain the lead behind the great play from Pau, Jordan Hill and Nick Young and finished the quarter with all the momentum.

Score: Lakers lead the Hawks 54-47 at halftime.

Third Quarter 

After the break, the Lakers began the quarter just as they started the first, establishing a presence inside with Pau and Jordan Hill getting a lot of easy looks but continued to struggle hitting the three ball.

The Hawks finally got Kyle Corver  hot from behind the arc and a lot of ugly offensive possessions quickly allowed the Hawks to take the lead 63-62 at the 6:30 mark.

After a 12-0 Hawks run, D’Antoni brought Young and Henry back in the ball game to try and create some better ball movement. A pair of free throws from Nick Young ended the Hawks run, but the Hawks continued to pressure the Lakers’ defense.

At the four-minute mark, D’Antoni emptied the bench which saw Lakers second round draft pick Ryan Kelly enter the game, but the Hawks continued to extend their lead to nine points with two minutes left in the quarter.

At the end of the quarter, the Lakers’ bench was unable to cut the lead in any way as they trailed by nine points at the end of the third.

Score: Lakers trailed the Hawks 82-73 at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The Lakers began the fourth quarter with the second unit on the floor. Although Xavier Henry and Nick Young tried to shoulder the load, the Hawks continued to score however they wanted to, mainly by the deep ball. After just a little over three minutes in the quarter, the Hawks had extended their lead to 95-80 forcing D’Antoni to call an early timeout.

After the early timeout, D’Antoni elected to bring Kobe and Pau back into the game probably earlier than he wanted to, to hopefully calm things down.

After the D’Antoni timeout, the teams began exchanging baskets, but the Hawks continued to make three pointers at will. But as the fourth quarter continued, the Lakers’ lack of a point guard began to show as there was little ball movement, lots of turnovers, and the three point shooting was nonexistent as Nick Young was the only Laker to make a three-pointer in the game at the 3:30 minute mark in the fourth.

At the three-minute mark, the Lakers had managed to cut the lead to 10 points and were showing life on the defensive side of the ball, but their energy soon dwindled and instead, the Hawks extended their lead to 14 points by the buzzer.

Lakers lose in Atlanta, 114-100.


  • Apex

    Well that was 2 hours of my life I wish I had back. Goddamnit this is frustrating!!!!

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Just another loss.No need for me to be a Debbie Downer.You all see what i see out there and it is not a pretty sight right now with the Lakers struggles.

    Go Lakers!

    • Paytc

      Winning cures all ills. We can not get too high after a few wins or too low after several loses. The goal is still the same. Have a healthy roster,make the playoffs,and play well when it counts most.

      No, we are not playing our best ball quite yet. Hopefully we get Farmar back soon to add an additional spark. He was definitely playing well before getting injured.

      It’s still not time to panic.It’s a lot easier to show support when the team is winning. Giving up is not an option for true fans or real players.

      Go Lakers !

      • Paytc

        It’s a mute point but I did suggest for Kobe to return Dec 20th. It was a home game and would have prevented him having to face this road trip while still trying to play himself back into high level playing form. No training camp or preseason to build chemistry with all the new players.

        It looked like only Nick Young shot the 3 ball well. Shooting the 3 effectively tends to make road games a lot easier to win.

        • Paytc

          And good defense does have to be played too. on a positive note…..
          Jordan Hill appeared to have a solid game

      • Lakers Fan

        How can we not get down on loses? It’s the same thing everytime. We play absolutely no defense, and the playoffs will be a foreign thought bout time they roll around. We shouldn’t even be talking about getting to the playoffs until we do something about our atrocious defense. We should definitely take it one game at a time, but it’s extremely hard to ignore the obvious problems we are having and not get discouraged by it. The West is too deep to even think the Lakers can get in with the way they are playing. This reoccurring issue with the defense is getting old, and we will continue to lose until it is addressed. Offense isn’t the problem, as we can see, it’s defense.

  • kobe24

    Once again our defense failed. However it was sort of disappointing seeing Kobe jack up those shots in the last couple minutes of 4th quarter. The second unit did not play well at all today (Except Nick Young) we really do need Jordan Farmar back really soon or else things will continually look like those (aside from the poor defense)

    I think Pau was good offensively lots of put backs and showed more effort. I think his defense got better (although nowhere near good of course). I really do think that the main problem is our PG situation and once we can get that settled it will all work out…however we don’t know when we will have 2+ PG since Blake is still going to be out another 5 weeks or so and Nash…whatever hes doing

    • Al Haldie

      You say only young played good —what part did u miss how about hill 8 of 8 9 reb—and henry 7of 8 ..i could be wrong but they were in the game–i think…

      • kobe24

        Please read my comment word for word before you make comments.

        I was talking about the second unit Hill is in the first unit…. And since when was henry 7-8? o.O I don’t know what basketball game you were watching but 6-14 does not sound 7-8 to me. And Im talking about the second unit in general and compared to the overall days how they played previously offensively and defensively they weren’t at their best

        • Al Haldie

          Well maybe not to you but KOBE would have loved to have 7/8 and no t/o—and you dont need to say PLEASE – in your mind i think you are great – is that the reason you sign as KOBE24–YOUR A DREAMER—wake up…. long time lakers fan

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Bad defense again equates to a loss.This is not Suns 2006.Not working out.

  • Apex

    Idk everyone is gonna start bitching and crying about D’antoni, but imo and I don’t care if im the only who feels this way, I like the guy. Not that any of this is Kobe’s fault since he’s playing out of his normal position and would be unfair to judge him, but I really liked the lakers before farmar and blake were injured. And I mean, even when they lost games they were still enjoyable. But this is just brutal, Young was the only player to hit a three, that’s this teams bread and butter. And where is Johnson and Williams, these guys were playing really good ball before the injuries and now every one has to stand around and watch Kobe set up Gasol all game long. So boring, seeing how Gasol sucks. I say trade him and friggin put Kaman in stat!! at least Kaman can shoot….

    • Kobe24

      Woah hold up buddy you had me agreeing till the Gasol part came up.

      I don’t know if you were talking in general or specifically this game but 7-9 shooting with 10 rebounds seem…pretty “decent” to me I don’t know how you feel.

      • Apex

        hold up what buddy?? who cares about his 7 easy buckets. Gasol plays 1 good quarter out of 4 and you think you he had a good game pppppllllleeeeaaaasssseeee. His 7-9 shooting and 10 rebounds isn’t bad granted this rarity out of him, still isn’t worth his crap defence period. Idk if you were watching the game, but I’ll say it again he had 1 good quarter out of four. Don’t get it twisted I like Gasol, but emotions aside I’d rather see him traded, get something in return, play Kaman and move forward already!!

        • kobe24

          No matter how easy those seven buckets were he scored thats the thing. You can have the easiest shot in the world and still screw up.

          And I’m not going to lie its hard to support Pau for the way he has played but to be truthfully honest I don’t think Kaman could do much better. Of course he barely played any games this season so its hard to say Kaman is bad since he never got actual minutes.

          And also, for your trade who would you trade? Lets be realistic here, Gasol has no trade value.

          • Apex

            Well you couldn’t have said it better, Gasol has no trade value. Your right, but the side of me that still has faith in this organization is that they are trying to ramp up his stats so he does have value. And another solution would to try and get a team to take him for nothing, why because teams are gonna sooner then later wanna get rid of some of their own good players and with the clearing space of Gasol we could be right there to snatch that player up. And as far as Kaman goes, at this point whats the harm of putting him in instead of Gasol, at least he will want to prove himself!! It’s like I don’t understand why they even picked Kaman up in the first place??

      • Matt Williams

        Don’t listen to him. Gasol put up a double double tonight. Especially in a system that never truly catered to big men. D’Antoni is supposed to be a leader. A coach. Any loss we get is his fault. Just like when we win a game, he gets the credit. However, his decision making as of late is hurting us.

        • Archie

          Gasol’s inconsistent success can be deceiving at times. As a fan its not very understandable. But as a player you know, gasol’s points he scores means NOTHING when he gives up soo many points and easy looks on defense to the opposing teams. He is so bad defensively these days its a trade off between his offense and defense. And he honestly gives up more points on defense than he scores by himself most of the time when you pay close attention during the games. All teams do is run on the lakers in transition, attack gasol in the paint, or drag gasol out in a high screen and roll and let the other teams point guard abuse him until the pg gets exactly what they want when gasol has to come out and switch on the screens. I refuse to blame dantoni anymore when clearly we have bad defenders, and our starting lineup is our worst lineup defensively by far.

          • Matt Williams

            Pau has never been a defensive monster like his brother. Granted he was more defensive during the championship year than now, but that’s not by much. When it’s down to the wire and it close to the end of the game, that’s when he comes in.

    • Jack

      I agree with you on everything but the kaman comment lol. But it is sad to have seen how well the lakers played as a whole unit before kobe’s return, now it just seems like kobe is doing his best two revive the two man game with him and pau. And it really..hasn’t been exciting at all, while the record shows it hasn’t been successful either. Not blaming kobe though, I honestly don’t know who to blame at this point.

  • Al Haldie

    Its tough to watch KOBE slow the game down and play catch with PAU the other 3 starters had a total of 27 shots, no ball movement, the bench are still trying to move the ball you dont mind watching them—but no body is haveing fun out there like they were before KOBE came back……the were fun to watch……

    • Kobe24

      Yeah the catch with Pau isn’t the best however we have to realize that we don’t have a true PG and moment Blake and Farmar comes back lets hope it changes

  • Rick Mora

    3 team trade: 1. Toronto gets 4 overall 1st round picks in a deep draft next year and can save 40 mil by amnestying Amare and letting Gasol walk plus keep enough to make playoffs this year in the east

    2. Knicks get rid of Amare and JR’s contracts, get a point guard in Lowry and Asik to protect the rim with loss of Chandler

    3. Rockets get bargnani, solid and cheap backup big with J.Hill, sixth man JR and brooks can do what Lin did for 5 mil less.

    4. Lakers get j lin, chandler and shumpert

    • Terrence

      You can’t amnesty players you get through trade.

  • Jim213

    What game was JJ watching? “came up short?%#” convincingly lost by 14. Another game were Meeks struggles on the floor (1-8). I’d literally have Meeks come off the bench for Young until the PG situation improves. G Man had another good game again for those who see him as a bench player while Gasol managed to have a good game today.

    Didn’t watch the first half but from watching the 2nd half this team lacks chemistry. Ball rotation lacks as even with open jumpers they’ve shown inconsistency as the bench mob has to be involved on both sides of the floor to play the type of games we’ve previously observed. IMO, Farmar will return towards the end of next week though gradually but it remains to be seen if the bench mob can reattain their mojo once the PG situation improves.

    Sacre IMO hurt the team in the 4th as he wasn’t able to grab any rebounds to keep the Hawks from contesting for 2nd shots. Don’t know why Kaman is not playing but he could’ve helped inside and if he has issues with the coach then he should be traded for another big given that they need more inside preference. Doesn’t help the team when Kaman sits on the bench while players who’ve shown less consistency get more play.

    Young was the ONLY player to hit 3’s today! (5-21), while TO’s continue to hurt the team. The Hawks basically out shot the Lakers in the 2nd half as defense still remains stagnant as of late. Too bad the team lacks depth aside of a 1 b/c I’d sit Kobe too (IT’S LIKE THAT!) given he should play lesser minutes until he manages to improve overall aside of regain his legs.

    Hopefully they can beat the Grizz tomorrow to even out their trip as it’ll only get more challenging from there and if the team fails to get back to 500 play between (12/27 – 1/05/14) don’t believe they’ll be able to play better than 500 ball the rest of the season thus likely failing to make the playoffs. Unless trades take place to help the team or major injuries occur for other teams to help down the line though if it occurs later than sooner then it may still prove too late.

    • Dragon7s

      As far as Farmar’s return, I don’t see it helping the bench mob much since he will be starting at PG which leaves the same guys trying to run the 2nd unit offense that have been.

      Until Blake gets back and/or the Lakers pick up another PG (I don’t see Nash coming back at this point, sad but true), the bench will be the worse for it.

      • Jim213

        Possibility though if Farmar gets some playtime with the bench mob hopefully the coach will give them more minutes as opposed to the 1st unit (can wish) until either Blake or the 1 position improves.

    • Terrence

      You should have watched the first half. Ball movement was there even with Kobe. The end of the second quarter was especially good. Defense just disappeared in the second half.

  • Dragon7s

    Didn’t see the game but reading everyone’s comments and those of various sports writers, some things come to mind:
    1. Kobe was worn out, not only because it’s only his 5th game back (3rd game in 4 nights, on the road no less) but because of the lack of PGs, he’s having to play more minutes than he’s physically ready for. Add to the mix that Carroll was picking him up full court to wear him down and it seems pretty evident that his 4-14 shooting (0-5 from 3) and his lack of getting to the FT line means he had no legs.
    2. Meeks’ poor shooting is simply the law of averages finally turning back against him after his hot start and is simply coincidental with Kobe’s return. (He did shoot 50% in Kobe’s 1st two games back although has struggled from the arc since Kobe’s return.)
    3. The 2nd unit that was tearing it up earlier in the season has no true PG to lead them and as such is suffering from the lack of identity that they had formed previously.
    4. The defensive struggles can also be attributed, primarily IMO, to the lack of a true PG. (Kobe’s done a commendable job and can handle the position but not as effectively as he would be able to after a few more games to not only build his endurance but to get a better feel for game speed and learning his teammates better.
    5. Pau put up a nice stat line, offensively. I would prefer to see him spend less time trying to work for his shot (the Lakers don’t have a shortage of players that can put the ball in the basket), and save that energy to use on defense and rebounding. There’s no reason LA shouldn’t have outrebounded the smallish Hawks by a wide margin.
    6. If Kaman is hurt (doesn’t sound like he is) then MDA is justified holding him out of games. If he’s not, then he needs to be allowed to show what he can do in game situations, especially against a ‘short’ team like the Hawks. Ryan Kelly played 7 minutes, didn’t take a shot, had 1 rebound, 1 assists and 2 fouls. Huh?

    Look for things to get uglier against the Grizzlies tomorrow night. It’s not a winnable game. Kobe should have most of the night off…it’s obvious he needs it.
    As for the rest of the team, they have nothing to lose so should get back to having fun, win or lose.
    We’ll see if MDA agrees. 😉

    • Jim213

      Regarding your last paragraph sentence, except for the coach and the under performing players.

  • Terrence

    Defense has been an issue, but now we’re truly experiencing that old adage, “Live by the three, die by the three.”

  • Al Haldie

    Well a least we have a good BENCH that passes the ball and every one plays-and its not just a two man game believe it or not all 5 players play togeather….