It wasn’t always pretty, but in the end the Los Angeles Lakers made just enough plays to escape with a win against the Atlanta Hawks, and that is all that matters at this stage in the young season.
Despite a season-high 22 turnovers and more terrible foul shooting, LeBron James and Tyson Chandler came up with the big final plays to allow the Lakers to leave Staples Center with a 107-106 win over the Hawks. The win was their third straight and put them over .500 for the first time this season.
James’ free throw issues nearly proved costly as he missed two late foul shots with 20 seconds to go and the Lakers down by one. Kyle Kuzma would come up with the offensive rebound and after missing a floater, James slammed home the rebound to redeem himself and put the Lakers ahead for good.
Once again, Chandler came up huge on the final possession, blocking Trae Young’s potential game-winning floater to preserve the victory. The blocked shots sent his teammates and the fans into a frenzy.
James’ 26 points led the Lakers and he also added 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Kyle Kuzma had 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Lonzo Ball had a bounce-back game with 8 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds.
The Lakers looked as if they had the game well in hand in the third quarter, pulling ahead by 14 points after a beautiful lob from Ball to Chandler. Unfortunately the team’s failure to take care of the ball, and struggles guarding the three-point line allowed the Hawks to fight back.
Young finished with 20 points and 12 assists while Taurean Prince and former Laker Kent Bazemore added 23 and 21 points, respectively.
The win now puts the Lakers at 7-6 and they will have a couple of days to prepare for their third meeting of the season with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.