The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday evening, looking to avoid a third straight loss. The Hawks were unable to pickup the victory vs. the Lakers in this matchup, falling by a score of 130-121 as LeBron James exploded for 47 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. The hosts again struggled on the defensive end, allowing the Lakers to score 30+ points in each of the final three quarters.
Atlanta got out to a hot start in this one, leading Los Angeles by double-digits in the opening minutes of the game. The Hawks carried a 33-23 lead into the second quarter behind 13 first-quarter points from Trae Young.
Trae splits two with the left ❄️ pic.twitter.com/F3Fx1VubZP— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 31, 2022
The Lakers responded however with a 39-point second quarter, pulling to within five points of the Hawks by the half. James got hot during the run, totaling 18 points and eight assists in the first half. Young led the Hawks with 17 points.
Jalen Johnson had an impressive run in the first half, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds while picking up some extra time while John Collins was in foul trouble.
Jalen took it to the pic.twitter.com/92NHK9Zjk4— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) December 31, 2022
The Los Angeles offense was humming again in the third quarter, propelling them to the lead behind a 36-point period. James had 13 points in the quarter, while Young paced Atlanta with eight points and four assists in the third. The Hawks defense gave up 75 points in 24 minutes across the second and third quarters, leaving little doubt as to why the lead slipped away on the way to the final frame.
55 feet across the court, led him to the spot pic.twitter.com/6ViJpQDG6g— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) December 31, 2022
The fourth quarter was close contested to start, with the Hawks pulling back even with the Lakers at 105 with 7:44 remaining. Atlanta trailed by just one as late as the 5:15 mark, but James continued to dominate, scoring 16 points in the fourth to hold off the potential Atlanta runs and secure the win for Los Angeles on his 38th birthday.
James finished with a ridiculous statline in the win, dominating the game offensively. Thomas Bryant added 19 points and 17 rebounds for the Lakers. Young led the Hawks with 29 points and eight assists in the loss, with Dejounte Murray adding 20 points and eight assists.
The Hawks will be back in action Monday evening on the road vs. the Golden State Warriors.