Defense Lets Lakers Down In Loss To Hawks Before All-Star Break
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers struggled to contain the hot-shooting Atlanta Hawks early and squandered their own lead to head into the All-Star break with a 117-113 loss. The Lakers finished 2-4 on their road trip.

Brandon Ingram’s seven points and eight from Reggie Bullock, who started for a second time in as many games, sparked the Lakers to a 19-13 lead in the first quarter. The Hawks continued to find the mark from deep and erased their deficit to pull ahead 24-23.

Their lead ballooned to 10 points as the Hawks finished the quarter 10-for-16 from behind the arc. However, the Lakers managed to close it with some momentum on their side thanks to a 3-pointer from LeBron James, who then split a pair of free throws.

The Lakers went into the second quarter trailing only by six points and continued to keep pressure on the Hawks. A 8-0 run cut Atlanta’s lead to a single point less than four minutes into the quarter.

Ingram’s layup shortly after gave the Lakers a lead. Their effort was aided by the Hawks suddenly going cold as they missed all six 3-pointers in the second quarter.

While Kyle Kuzma overcame a 1-for-6 start on the night by converting on five consecutive field goals in a stretch that carried into the third quarter, the Lakers were hampered by foul trouble. Four fouls forced both Ingram and JaVale McGee to the bench midway through the third.

The Lakers went into the fourth trailing the Hawks and that was compounded by a six-minute scoring drought. When they did finally manage to snap it, stops on the defensive end were hard to come by.

James finished with a fifth triple-double this season in the losing effort.

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