Coming off a hard-earned win against the Miami Heat, the Lakers played as though they were going to get an easy victory off the struggling Hawks but that was not the case as they were able to hang around for most of the night thanks to their ability to hit from the three-point line.
James was by far the best player on the floor as he led all scorers with 32 points while also adding 13 rebounds and seven assists. He was also responsible for several highlight plays, including a pass between the legs to a streaking Dwight Howard for a monstrous dunk.
In his walk-off interview, James discussed how the team has managed to overcome rough outings to pull out wins, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“No matter what the game presents itself, we’ve been able to figure it out. We couldn’t throw a quarter in the ocean tonight and we were turning the ball over and versus a young team, you can’t do that. You give them so many opportunities. But just being resilient and relying on our defense, knowing that we can get stops in critical times and just trying to execute on the other end.”
It was a forgettable offensive showing for Los Angeles as they were cold from beyond the arc, hitting only five of their 31 attempts while also turning the basketball over 22 times. Fortunately for them, Atlanta had their fair share of issues too as they committed 20 turnovers of their own and gave up 54 points in the paint.
To the team’s credit, they were able to flip the switch defensively down the stretch, swarming against the Hawks along the perimeter and forcing them into tough looks they failed to convert. On the game’s final possession, Atlanta actually got a good opportunity to tie the game on an open corner three-pointer but they failed to convert, handing Los Angeles their 24th win of the 2019-20 NBA season.
Even though they got the win, this type of performance will not do as they are set to take on much tougher competition later in the month with games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers looming. The Lakers will almost always have the requisite talent to overwhelm teams but their collective play needs to pick up if they hope to win against fellow championship contenders.