Atlanta Hawks show their better half against Kobe, Lakers
By Titus Falodun Staff Writer | 12/17/2013, 1:58 a.m.
ATLANTA - No one fears the Black Mamba.
The worst fear of the Los Angeles Lakers (11-13, 5-7 away) is right there for all to see.
Tonight against the right around average Atlanta Hawks (13-12, 9-4 home) was no different.
In front of what you would think would be a sellout crowd at Philips Arena (given that Kobe’s in town and suited up to play), the Hawks prevailed 114-100 over Kobe and his Lakers, in a game of two halves.
The first half was a tragedy, as the Hawks offense sputtered with miscues and the defense fell apart like a Chinua Achebe book.
After a couple smooth early baskets, Kobe, in only his fifth game back since recovering from a torn left Achilles tendon, was virtually irrelevant in the game.
Nick “Swaggy P” Young (who nonchalantly checked his stat line twice immediately after the game), Jordan Hill, and the Lakers’ supporting cast served as the catalysts for a rolling offense that put them ahead 54-47 at the half.
Young finished with 23 points, as Hill added 21 points and 9 rebounds.
Before the end of the half, the Hawks’ second-unit stars Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack brought some much needed energy and POINTS off the bench, which still was not enough for GM Danny Ferry, who could be seen pacing and firing some not so friendly and clean shots at the team’s play.
Not sure if Ferry gave a halftime speech, but the Hawks rebounded in the second half, by crashing the boards and executing plays.
Both Al Horford and Jeff Teague put together a double-double. Horford had 19 points and 11 rebounds, as Teague dropped 17 points and 10 assists.
Paul Millsap, in an effort not to be out done, came through with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals.
Sage and aged veteran Elton Brand may not be able to get up in the air, but he can still play stout defense. He chipped in with a lunch pail effort with 3 blocks mixed with 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Kyle Korver, who struggled all first half (going scoreless), lit up the Lakers for two quick 3-pointers in less than a minute (around 4 minutes into the second half), as he extended his 3-point making streak to 94 consecutive games. He would add another 3-pointer 3 minutes later, during a 17-2 run for the Hawks in the third quarter.
Seemingly from there, the Lakers didn’t have the answers as they lost sway in the game.