The Lakers pulled it again, a convincing win away from home. They defeated the Atlanta Hawks 107-99 in an important game to gain back the winning momentum. This was not a match as exciting as it was against the Celtics, but it kept viewers glued until the Lakers took a formidable lead in the end.
The LA side enjoyed a 9-2 start forcing early turnovers on Hawks but struggled with their three-point shooting initially in the game. Former Laker Rajon Rondo led the Hawks’ rotation and looked productive, but it all changed later when the Lakers bounced back in Q4. Talking about the decisive quarter, an incident with hecklers took the spotlight.
What forced LeBron James to react to the Hawks’ fans?
With just four minutes into the fourth quarter and the Lakers leading 86-78 after a 10-point run, something nasty happened. A Hawks fan from the crowd said something towards LeBron James that led to a halt in play. The refs had to intervene, and the fans were removed from their seats.
In the post-game interview, King James exclaimed, “At the end of the day, I’m happy fans were in the building. I don’t think it was warranted to be kicked out. … I don’t think they should’ve been kicked out.” He then added, “He went a little bit out of bounds.” Even Anthony Davis later said, “It was a crazy little thing, but shit happens.”
This small incident did not put any impact on Bron’s game as he scored 12 points in the final quarter with the help of two three-pointers, a layup shot, and four FTs. Overall, he fell just one assist short of scoring a double-double. Apart from him, AD, Dennis Schroder, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (with his triple threes) made a decent impact.
Lakers’ bench vs Hawks’ biggies
Yet again, it was the unsung hero in the Lakers’ squad that changed the game. Alex Caruso recorded +13 in plus-minus and scored 8 points, 2 boards, 2 assists, and as many steals. But it was Montrezl Harrell who kept the score tickling in the initial half, receiving tremendous support from Kyle Kuzma and otherwise scoreless Talen Horton-Tucker.
All this ensured that the Hawks’ defense never dominated over the Lakers’ offense. Otherwise, they had both their extraordinary defenders in Clint Capela and Trae Young already putting massive double-doubles. This win must’ve instilled a greater belief in the Lakers because the entire unit contributed, rather than just their star duo.
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