Lakers Highlights: Malik Monk Dominates Early, LeBron James Late In Blowout Win Over Hawks

The Los Angeles Lakers still don’t have their full roster available, but with LeBron James and Malik Monk playing like this, they are finally looking like a dangerous basketball team.

Monk continued his scorching hot shooting stretch with a season-high 29 points, while LeBron scored 17 of his 32 points in the fourth to help the Lakers pull away from the Atlanta Hawks, 134-118, on Friday night.

The win improved the Lakers’ record to 21-19 and they now have their longest win streak of the season at four.

For the first three quarters, it was all about the Lakers’ role players, who were simply dominant. In addition to Monk, who shot 11-of-20 from the field and 7-of-12 from deep while also adding four rebounds, three assists, and two steals, Avery Bradley celebrated his newly guaranteed contract by adding in 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and six rebounds.

Once Monk and Bradley cooled down later in the third quarter, it was Talen Horton-Tucker’s turn as he followed up his bounce-back game on Tuesday with 21 points and five assists. Horton-Tucker arguably had the highlight of the night as well with a beautiful crossover and poster jam over Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu.

With the role players carrying things early, James had plenty of energy to close the Hawks out in the fourth. He started by throwing down an alley-oop from Horton-Tucker after a steal and capped it off with another breakaway slam before checking out for the night with nine assists, eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocks to go along with his 32 points.

Those steals also moved James into the top-10 on the NBA’s all-time steals list.

Carmelo Anthony also got hot late with 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench and though Russell Westbrook didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, he did everything else. The Lakers point guard finished with nine points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists with just three turnovers, though he did foul out late in the fourth.

The Lakers’ defensive energy was crucial on this night as Bradley led the charge in limiting All-Star Trae Young to just 8-of-21 shooting and 1-of-7 from 3-point range. The Lakers forced 15 Hawks turnovers leading to 28 points while giving the ball up just eight times themselves. They also dominated in transition with 24 fast-break points and had a season-high 37 assists as a team.

Next up for the Lakers

The Lakers end their homestand with one last meeting against Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night before hitting the road to take on the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

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