LOS ANGELES — The Atlanta Hawks lost 130-114 to the Lakers in Los Angeles Friday night. Atlanta is now 1-2 on their current four-game west coast road trip.
The 16-point victory was the fourth in a row for the Lakers who were without center Anthony Davis. The Atlanta Hawks came into the game having lost four of their past five games, including a 130-121 home loss to the Lakers on James’ 38th birthday, December 30, 2022. That night James scored 47 points to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists. This game against the Lakers wouldn’t call that Herculean effort from James tonight. James would finish the game with 25 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds while Russell Westbrook scored 18 points on 7-14 shooting from the floor with 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Atlanta would fall behind early and often during the game, losing by as many as 24 points with a minute to play in the first half.
Hawks leading scorer Trae Young managed to score 11 of his 32 points during the first half which is an improvement of sorts since he only scored four points during the first quarter. Young managed to keep the Hawks close with a 17-point third quarter, but big shots from the Lakers bench kept L.A. in front. The third quarter was the only period the Hawks outscored the Lakers (33-28).
Hawks guard Dejounte Murray got off to a hot start (9 points in the first quarter) before experiencing a scoreless second quarter. Lakers reserve guard Kendrick Nunn came into the game averaging 5.4 points per game and decided to raise his average by a few points after leading all scorers with 15 points during the first half. Nunn looked more like Young out there at times, scoring in a number of ways, including with a three-pointer, floaters and on a layup off a no-look pass from James.
During the third quarter Young would get more involved, helping cut the Lakers lead to 14 points with a three-pointer and a floater, forcing a Lakers timeout at the 7:37 mark. That momentum was put on pause by a pair of dunks in traffic by Lakers forward Thomas Bryant and a drive from James. That basket gave the future hall-of-famer 17 points to go along with 10 assists and six rebounds with more than a quarter to play. “We just dug ourselves into too much of a hole,” Young said after the game. “We all have to give more, me personally, I have to shoot better.” Young was 12-24 from the field Friday night.
A good road trip
This game was the second to last of the four-game West coast road trip. The Hawks will return to Crypto.com Arena to play the Clippers, Sunday night. Atlanta split the first two games of the trip and could salvage a .500 road trip with a victory Sunday. “Anytime you can go .500 on the road in this league that’s a good road trip,” Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said after the game.