The Atlanta Hawks dug an early hole but fought all the way back before suffering a tight 105-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers jumped out of the gate quickly knocking down five three-pointers in the opening quarter to take an early 33-22 lead after one. The Hawks' defensive struggles were once again front and center as they struggled in their rotations and failed to close out on shooters in transition. The Lakers picked up where they left off in the second with a 7-0 run to start. The lead swelled to as many as 21 points before a late Atlanta run cut it to 62-49 at the intermission.
Atlanta found their footing defensively and a rhythm on offense as they began to whittle away at Los Angeles' lead. Al Horford's driving layup with 6:03 remaining cut the lead to just seven at 72-65. However, the Lakers were able to hold Atlanta off for the remainder of the period to take an 88-76 advantage into the fourth.
Atlanta kept the pressure on in the fourth methodically chipping away at the Los Angeles lead. Kyle Korver cut the lead to just two with his sixth three pointer of the night with 1:16 remaining. Two trips later, Paul Millsap tied things up with a jump shot with just 35 ticks remaining. On their next possession, the Lakers went to Pau Gasol who missed but Jordan Hill grabbed a crucial offensive rebound. The Lakers went back to Gasol on a roll to the basket and Millsap was called for a blocking foul with just six seconds remaining. The officials reviewed the play to see if Millsap's feet were outside the restricted area but the call was upheld.
Gasol made both free throws to put the Lakers back in front 105-103 setting up the final possession for Atlanta. After a timeout advanced the ball to midcourt, Korver's shot along the baseline was blocked by Gasol preserving the victory for Los Angeles.
Xavier Henry led the way for the Lakers with 18 points while Gasol finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Steve Nash and Nick Young added 13 points each while Chris Kamen chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Korver led the Hawks with 22 points going 8-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the three-point line. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague finished with 14 points each while Mike Scott added 13. Horford added 12 points and a game-high 16 rebounds while rookie Dennis Schröder finished in double figures with 10 points.
The Hawks connected on 44 percent of their field goal attempts but were just 14-for-26 from the free throw line in the game. The Lakers shot 43 percent for the game and went 9-for-25 from three point range but just 1-for-12 in the second half.
Atlanta will continue its three-game road trip Tuesday night in Sacramento.