The Los Angeles Lakers picked up their third straight win since the All-Star break with a dominating victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Luke Walton’s team shot the ball extremely well and led nearly the entire contest, but it was far from a perfect performance.
The Lakers turned the ball over 23 times on the night and also committed 23 fouls, leading to 34 free throw attempts for the Hawks, nearly twice that of the Lakers. L.A. was able to overcome it thanks to their defense, as they held the Hawks to just 37.5 percent shooting, but it was still a point of contention for Walton.
Following the win, Walton was happy with the win, but said his team needed to be much better moving forward, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Good win, but we’ve got to be much better. That’s not the road mentality we talk about. The two biggest things for our road mentality and what we try to work on as a group are not turning the ball over and not fouling. We were awful in both of those tonight. Atlanta had a lot of open shots they missed in the first half, so we were able to get a lead. I liked the pace we played at, it was just more sloppy than I’d like, and I think our group knows we have to be better than that.”
Walton is right to stay on his team even in a victory. The competition is about to pick up with the next three games coming against playoff teams and two of those on the road.
Turning the ball over and committing fouls is an easy way for the Lakers to be on the other end of a blowout the next time they take the floor.
Expectations are beginning to rise for the Lakers as they have already matched their win total from a season ago. Walton wants to make sure his team doesn’t get complacent after a few wins so they can continue to grow and shine down the stretch of this promising season.
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