It started off a little questionable, but once the Los Angeles Lakers got going, there was no looking back. Luke Walton had to call a timeout after the Lakers went down 10-2, but they quickly corrected things and used a 37-21 second quarter to blow out the Atlanta Hawks, 132-113.
On a day filled with controversy about whether or not Walton still had control of the team, the Lakers put forth one of their best performances of the season. In doing so they ended their nine-game losing streak as well as a nine-game home losing streak that stretched all the way back to before Thanksgiving.
Contributions came from everywhere on this night. Brandon Ingram led eight Lakers in double-figures with 20 points and also showed off his playmaking with seven assists. Lonzo Ball continued to round back into form with 13 points, a team-high 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., and Josh Hart all reached double-digit points in a balanced effort for the Lakers. And even though Brook Lopez scored only eight points, he was a menace on the defensive end, coming up with four steals and two blocks.
Unlike previous games, the Lakers were locked in defensively for much of the night, which allowed them to get out in transition. They outscored the Hawks 28-0 in fast-break points in the first half and finished with 42 overall, the most the team has had since 2001.
Turnovers were still an issue as the Lakers committed 18 on the night (five by Ingram alone), but for once they proved they could hit their free throws. The team hit 20 of 25 from the line, a much better clip than their season average.
The next step for the Lakers is to build on this performance and they will get the chance to do so on Tuesday when they host the Sacramento Kings.
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