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GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 19 24 31 18 92
Play by Play Atlanta Hawks 26 29 21 20 96
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Shorthanded Hawks hold off Bryant, Lakers 96-92

By PAUL NEWBERRY


Posted Mar 13 2013 10:47PM

ATLANTA (AP) Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket and the shorthanded Atlanta Hawks shook off a 20-point third quarter by Kobe Bryant, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 96-92 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on Dahntay Jones' foot and twisted his left ankle, crumpling to the court in pain.

Bryant hobbled off and seemed OK before Kyle Korver knocked down two free throws to clinch it.

Atlanta won for just the second time in eight games despite missing Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.

The Hawks got contributions all around. Harris scored nine straight points in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks regain the upper hand after the Lakers went up 80-76. But the biggest basket was made by Johnson with the Hawks clinging to a three-point lead.

Al Horford drove along the baseline and missed the shot. But he hustled for the rebound and knocked it right to Johnson under the basket. He flipped in a reverse layup with 33.3 seconds remaining, pushing the Hawks ahead 92-87.

After the Lakers called a timeout, Horford gave Johnson a big hug on the way to the bench. Smith, in street clothes, mockingly threw punches at the burly forward.

But the Lakers had a chance. John Jenkins and Korver both missed free throws, and Bryant knocked down a turnaround 3-pointer off an inbound pass with Jones right in his face.

That turned out to be their last hurrah. Atlanta snapped the Lakers' four-game winning streak and handed them just their third loss in the last 12 games, at least slowing their bid to rally for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Led by Harris, six players scored in double figures for Atlanta. Korver had 15, Horford 14, Johnson and Jenkins 12 apiece, and Johan Petro 10.

After scoring just three points in the first half, Bryant was unstoppable in the third. He made eight shots and almost single-handedly wiped out Atlanta's 55-43 halftime lead.

Without Smith and Teague, Atlanta sent out a patchwork lineup that left some in the crowd with puzzled looks during the introductions: Harris and Jones in the backcourt, Anthony Tolliver and Horford at the forward spots, and Petro at center.

But the Hawks came out with an inspired first half, getting contributions from both the starters and the reserves.

Horford, Harris and Petro all scored eight points, while Horford and Petro grabbed eight rebounds apiece. Jenkins chipped in with eight points off the bench, while Korver added seven, Johnson six and even Shelvin Mack - on a 10-day contract - scored four points.

Bryant, meanwhile, made only 1-of-8 from the field.

Notes: Korver extended his franchise record to 57 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer. He took care of the streak with 3:10 left in the first quarter. ... Teague didn't even attempt to suit up. Smith went out for pregame warmups to test his knee, but found it too sore to play. ... Jones made his second start since being acquired by the Hawks at the trade deadline. ... Horford picked up a technical late in the third when he complained about not getting a call on a drive into the lane, when he appeared to get whacked on top of the head by Dwight Howard. Then, early in the fourth, Hawks coach Larry Drew received a T after another no-call on Howard, this time when he appeared to throw his body into Johnson, sending him tumbling to the court. ... The teams split their season series, 1-1.

Follow Paul Newberry at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


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Points Bryant, 31
Rebounds Howard, 16
Assists Nash and Harris (ATL), 7
Blocks Korver (ATL), 2
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LAKERS-HAWKS PREVIEW

By TAYLOR BECHTOLD

Posted Mar 13 2013 12:53AM

While Dwight Howard got plenty of free-throw practice in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to another victory, nothing has come easy for the Atlanta Hawks lately.

Howard and the red-hot Lakers appear to be catching the sinking Hawks at an opportune time on Wednesday night when they visit Atlanta in search of a fifth straight win.

After eight years with the Magic, Howard put together a huge performance in his first trip to Orlando since his offseason trade to the Lakers. The All-Star center took advantage of the Magic's Hack-a-Howard strategy, finishing with a season-high 39 points and 16 rebounds in a 106-97 victory on Tuesday.

Howard, a league-worst 47.8 percent free-throw shooter entering the contest, made 25 of 39 (64.1 percent) from the foul line and matched his own NBA record for attempts in a game.

"I think professionally it was really big for him," Kobe Bryant said of Howard's night. "Coming into this environment, playing as well as he did, it's big for his confidence."

Los Angeles (34-31) has won 17 of 23 since bottoming out at eight games under .500 on Jan. 23. With their fourth straight win and ninth in 11 games, the Lakers regained a half-game lead over Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Howard looks to continue his tear Wednesday after averaging 24.8 points and 16.3 rebounds in his last four games. The Atlanta native had 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting and only made two trips to the line in a 99-98 home win over the Hawks on March 3.

Bryant led the way in that victory, scoring of 11 of his 34 in the fourth quarter and hitting the go-ahead layup with nine seconds left. He also threw down a memorable one-handed dunk over Josh Smith as the Lakers held on after blowing a 16-point second-half advantage.

The Lakers have scored 107.0 per game - 4.5 above their season average - in their 11 contests since the All-Star break. They'll try to stay hot against an Atlanta team that has averaged 80.5 points and hit 10 for 40 from 3-point range in their last two losses.

The Hawks (34-29) were the latest victim in the Heat's 19-game winning streak, losing 98-81 at Miami on Tuesday for their sixth loss in seven games. Smith led the Hawks with 15 points.

"We just got beat by a really good basketball team," Hawks coach Larry Drew said.

Atlanta, on the other hand, isn't playing well. After sitting fourth in the East heading into March, the Hawks enter this contest tied with Boston for sixth. They'll try to get back on track as they start a stretch with five of six at home, but they're just 3-4 in their last seven at Philips Arena.

To make matters worse, they lost Jeff Teague late in the third quarter Tuesday to a sprained left ankle, leaving the point guard's status in question against the Lakers.

Teague had eight points on 3-of-13 shooting against the Lakers last week, while Smith had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Al Horford finished with a team-high 24 points, but pulled down only five rebounds while battling Howard. Horford is averaging 22.2 points on 60.7 percent shooting in his last 13 games overall.

The Lakers, who make their first trip to Philips Arena in more than two years, seek their fifth straight win over the Hawks.

Howard has lost six consecutive games in Atlanta, including the postseason.


Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Probable Starters .
  Lakers    
  #15 World Peace SF #5 Smith  
  #6 ClarkPF #15 Horford  
  #12 Howard C #10 Petro  
  #24 Bryant SG #26 Korver  
  #10 Nash PG #0 Teague  


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Lakers Kobe Bryant
(ulnar nerve contusion, right arm) is probable.
Pau Gasol
(strained plantar fascia, right foot) is out.
Jordan Hill
(torn labrum, left hip/herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is probable.
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Hawks Lou Williams
(torn ACL, right knee) is out.
Zaza Pachulia
(sore right Achilles) is a game-time decision.
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03/03 - ATL 98 @ LAL 99
03/13 - LAL @ ATL
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