The Los Angeles Lakers closed out the Atlanta Hawks in the final minutes, finishing their road trip with a respectable 5-2 record.
The Lakers took a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and appeared to have all the momentum, but the Hawks responded with an 8-0 run. However, the defense picked up several notches and a LeBron James 3-pointer gave Los Angeles the push it needed to secure the victory.
The Lakers got back to dominating the interior as 54 of their 107 points came in the painted area. Anthony Davis was a large part of that as he routinely bullied the Hawks frontcourt to the tune of 25 points.
However, the 3-point shooting left much to be desired as the team converted 30.4% from beyond the arc. The dip is cause for concern, but head coach Frank Vogel attributed the struggles to the long road trip.
“We started with a lot of guys shooting the ball well above their percentage, so there’s always a regression to the mean,” Vogel explained.
“I think part of it is that we feel like we’ve been on the road for a month and a half. There’s a fatigue element to that, both with shot-making and the ability to work for shot quality. Just ebbs and flows you’re going to see during a normal NBA season, but hopefully we’ll get home, kind of get our legs under us, get our minds refreshed and return to form.”
Players having their shooting percentages fall during road trips is fairly common in the league and the Lakers are no different. There were several stretches during the road trip where it appeared they did not have their legs completely under them when shooting from distance.
Against the Hawks, the Lakers only managed to hit seven of their 23 attempts behind the arc. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a bright spot in that department as he drained 3-of-6 of his 3-point attempts, while James, Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma combined for the other four makes.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope breaks out of shooting slump against Hawks
After a blistering start to the 2020-21 season, Caldwell-Pope found himself in a slump during the road trip. However, Vogel and the rest of the team made it a point to get him going against Atlanta .
Although Caldwell-Pope was a paltry 4-of-13 from the field, his 50% shooting from three was a welcomed sight and hopefully a sign he has rediscovered his shooting stroke.
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