The Los Angeles Lakers ended their two-game losing streak with a win against the Atlanta Hawks, 109-94, on Sunday night at the Staples Center.
Lou Williams led the Lakers with 21 points, scoring 13 in the final quarter. Larry Nance notched his first double-double of the season, 12 points, and 10 rebounds, while Jordan Clarkson had 18 points.
The Hawks controlled the pace earlier in the game led by Dwight Howard, scoring 13 points in the first quarter. The Lakers played without two starters, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, due to injury. The Hawks ended the first quarter with an 11-point lead.
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The Lakers bounced back in the second quarter with a 22-6 run. Nick Young, who was sidelined in the previous game, fired up and gave his team the advantage at the end of the first half, 56-48. In the third quarter, the Lakers struggled on the offensive end but didn’t let their defense be affected. Kent Bazemore and Kyle Korver stepped up for the Hawks, hitting multiple shots.
Clarkson responded with five straight points to stretch the gap. A steal from Dennis Schroeder and a shot from Muscala let the Hawks end the third with a 7-point deficit. The Hawks tried to bounce back in the final quarter and managed to cut the lead down to four. Nance, Williams, and Clarkson all contributed on the offensive end, resulting in a 16-2 run. Tarik Black’s huge effort under the basket gave the Lakers multiple chances.
“The energy that the second unit brought on the defensive end in the second quarter changed the outcome of that game,” Walton said. “It’s what we have been preaching all year, but it was really the first time that we saw all five guys on the court talking defensively.”
The Lakers will visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. The Hawks will face the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena on Monday.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com
Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto