Hawks falter down the stretch in loss to Lakers

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In one of the most highly anticipated Hawks games of the last three years, Atlanta came up just shy in their first matchup against Lebron’s Lakers in over a calendar year.

From start to finish, it was neck-and-neck. Los Angeles led by four heading into the locker room, and the Hawks led by one after three, but it was a 16-0 run that began at the end of the third that ended up being the turning point. Atlanta battled in the final period, cutting the lead to one position several times. However, every time they seemed to be turning the tide, Lebron or AD would come up with a much-needed bucket to stretch the lead.

Davis led the Lakers with 25 points. Lebron chipped in 21 — most of which came in the fourth quarter. However, for most of the game, Reddish — who started in place of the injured De’Andre Hunter — had him clamped up, which not many players can say they have done. Harrell also put up 19 points off the bench on 8-9 shooting.

For the Hawks, Trae Young continued his stellar stretch of play, scoring 25 points to go along with 16 assists. Collins added 22 points, and Capela had another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He also had three blocks.

Unfortunately, Atlanta’s bench was outplayed by Los Angeles’ all night. Danilo Gallinari scored just six points on 2-10 from the field, and Bruno Fernando was a liability. Rajon Rondo was the only member of the second unit that looked like he came to play.

The difference in the game was execution down the stretch. Every time the game slowed down and the Lakers needed a bucket; they found a way to score. Meanwhile, the Hawks looked flustered during the game’s final possessions, settling for bad shots and turning the ball over. That’s been a trend for them when they get into these tight games with the league’s best teams. They’ve shown they can compete with anyone. Now, they just need to learn how to win. Hopefully, as they get healthy and continue to develop chemistry, that will come.

The Hawks season continues on Wednesday, as they take on the Mavericks at State Farm Arena in the first matchup of the year between Trae Young and Luka Doncic.


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