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.
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.
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.
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.
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.