The Los Angeles Lakers had a difficult task ahead of them on Monday against an explosive Atlanta Hawks offense on the final night of their road trip that saw them play seven games in 12 days.
And in a game when they struggled from deep, it was once again the Lakers’ defense that pulled them through. The Lakers held a team under 100 points for the second straight contest, limiting Atlanta to just 23 points in the fourth quarter to come away with a 107-99 victory.
The win improved the Lakers record to 16-6 and 12-2 on the road, finishing their trip at an impressive 5-2.
Anthony Davis led the team offensively once again with 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting and also added three blocks. LeBron James was relatively quiet offensively for much of the night, but still finished with 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Montrezl Harrell had another great game with 19 points off the bench while Dennis Schroder was efficient with 16 points while also doing his best to hound Hawks star Trae Young.
The Lakers struggled to get separation from the Hawks all night as any time they got a little lead, Atlanta would fight back. This was especially the case in the second half as the Hawks quickly turned a nine-point deficit into a six-point lead in the third quarter.
But that is when the Lakers really flipped the switched defensively, responding with a 16-0 run that stretched between the third and fourth quarters. The heavily praised lineup led by LeBron along with the four bench players of Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker once again provided a major boost when it was most needed.
Caruso capped off the run with a steal and breakaway dunk.
While the Hawks would continue to fight back, cutting the Lakers’ lead to as little as one point, timely baskets from James and Davis, and great defensive efforts from the likes of Schroder and Caruso helped to put the game away.
The Lakers struggled mightily with their 3-point shooting, hitting just 7-of-23 from deep, but made up for it by forcing 17 turnovers (seven from Young) and turning that into 18 fast-break points.
The Lakers also got a welcome boost from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who broke out of his slump by knocking down a trio of 3-pointers en route to 11 points.
Next up for Lakers
The Lakers finally return home for a Western Conference Finals rematch with the Denver Nuggets before taking on the Detroit Pistons in hopes of making up for their worst performance of the road trip.
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