|X. Henry||SF||D. Carroll|
|S. Williams||PF||P. Millsap|
|P. Gasol||C||A. Horford|
|S. Blake||SG||K. Korver|
|S. Nash||PG||J. Teague|
K. Bryant: Achilles Out
G. Ayon: Shoulder Questionable
L. Williams: Knee Out
Lakers blow big lead, beat hawks 105-103
By Joe Resnick
Posted Nov. 04 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) Xavier Henry scored 18 points, Pau Gasol hit two tiebreaking free throws with 6 seconds remaining, and the Los Angeles Lakers, who lost all of a 21-point lead, beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-103 on Sunday night.
Henry started at forward for the first time as a Laker and the 19th time in 137 NBA games, while Nick Young came off the bench. Coach Mike D'Antoni's intention with the lineup change was to perk up the team - still missing Kobe Bryant - at the outset, and also inject some energy into the Lakers' second unit while doing likewise for the cold-shooting Young.
Henry, who received nine stitches in his forehead during Friday's loss to San Antonio after colliding with teammate Wesley Johnson's knee on a drive to the basket and missed all six of his shots that night, was 5 for 11 from the field against the Hawks. Young had 13 points.
Gasol finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Steve Nash had 13 points and six assists.
Kyle Korver led Atlanta with 22 points, converting all six 3-point attempts, but he missed a 21-footer from the right baseline as time ran out. Hawks point guard Jeff Teague had 14 points and six assists after missing his first five shots.
Two nights after shooting only 37 percent from the field and blowing a 15-point lead against the Spurs despite the absence of injured center Tim Duncan in the paint, Los Angeles shot 42.7 percent against the Hawks. And for the first time this season, all five Lakers starters connected from 3-point range while the team went 9 for 25 from behind the arc.
Trailing by 12 points after three quarters, the Hawks narrowed the gap to 90-83 on a jumper by Dennis Schroder with 10:25 remaining. Chris Kaman then lost the ball out of bounds on the Lakers' next possession and committed his fifth foul on an offensive charge 34 seconds later.
Korver's sixth 3-pointer cut it to 103-101 with 1:16 to play, and Paul Millsap got the last of his 14 points on an 11-footer that tied it at 103-all with 35.3 seconds left.
Eleven Lakers got into the scoring column as they built a 62-49 halftime lead, without anyone on the team reaching double digits.
Young, who shot 6 for 22 over his first three games, made four of his first five field goal attempts - including a 17-footer that capped a 15-2 run and gave the Lakers a 44-23 lead with 9:19 left in the second quarter.
The Lakers have beaten the Hawks eight straight times at home and have won 21 of the last 24 meetings at Los Angeles dating to Feb. 2, 1990 at the Forum. Last season at Staples Center, the Lakers won 99-98 on a layup by Bryant with 9 seconds remaining after they blew a 16-point second-half lead.
NOTES: Sunday was the 38th anniversary of the day the Lakers traded Pat Riley to Phoenix for two draft picks. One of the mainstays of the Lakers' first NBA championship team in Los Angeles (1971-72) he went on to win four more rings as Lakers coach, another as coach of Miami, and two more as the Heat's team president. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008. ... The Hawks, one of 13 NBA teams that named a new head coach during the offseason, are 1-2 under longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer. ... Shawne Williams, the Lakers' other starting forward, had seven points before fouling out with 5:40 remaining.
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
Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni:
(On how Atlanta was able to come back after being down so many points)
“We’ve got a lot of stuff we’ve got to cure, and tomorrow we’ll look at the stuff we need to talk about, and get better…For whatever reason, we going up fifteen, and we have great energy, then all of a sudden…we start to get soft on defense, without a lot of energy. Then we start to get a little selfish, and we stopped thinking about moving the ball. Those are two things we have to cure.”
(On his decision to play certain players down the stretch)
“Jordan gives us that extra rebounding, and that may be the way we go. I think every night it’ll be a little bit different, depending on matchups, and who’s out on the floor. I know Wesley Johnson did a good job, Shawne Williams did a good job, Chris [Kaman] did a good job. I think everyone contributed something, so it’s not easy to say, ‘Well you know they’re head and shoulders above the other guys.’ We’re going to play a lot of guys. Whoever goes in, whether it’s five minutes, six minutes, they’ve got to give it their all.”
(On Pau Gasol’s performance)
“I thought he lost his steam. I don’t care if a guy shoots well or not. I thought he got tired, he’s been fighting some respiratory [problems], and it looked like the air went out of the balloon a little bit. I knew I was going to finish with him, so we just needed to get him to where he could finish through the last five minutes.”
(On Steve Nash’s performance)
“He had his best game. He didn’t do a lot better, and I think he could tell you that. But no turnovers, six assists, and it was 2-1, and that’s about right for him. This is a good building block, as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks, and we keep moving forward.”
Lakers G Steve Nash
(On the Lakers’ final play on offense)
“I thought Pau [Gasol] got a good look on the baseline, and then Jordan Hill, who’s been big for us, snuck in there, got us another offensive rebound and gave us the last shot. We went pick and roll with Pau [Gasol], I was able to slide it in there, and obviously he did the rest. He made two big free throws, and we got a great stop at the end.”
(On Pau Gasol’s block of Kyle Korver on the Hawks’ final possession)
“It was a great little reaction by Pau [Gasol] to get out there and pressure him. At that point in the game, everyone’s got to be on their toes, and he did a great job reacting.”
Lakers G Nick Young
(On the Lakers’ starting out hot and gaining a 21-point lead)
“It just felt good. We came out, we knew we needed to get this win from the gate, and we started off hot. But somehow, we have to continue to do that.”
(On turning flashes of great play into consistency)
“Anything can happen in a basketball game. We have to have fewer turnovers. When we get tired, we have to play fluid. It’s basketball. Everyone’s going to mess up unless it’s one of those nights. But, you never know what happens out there.”
Lakers G Jordan Farmar
(On their first half)
“We had good energy. We played together and moved the ball got stops defensively…all the things we didn’t do in the second half.”
(On closing the game tonight vs. last Friday’s loss to San Antonio)
“We executed a little better. We got the ball in [Steve] Nash’s hands and made some plays, Pau Gasol made some big plays at the end of the game, and those are some of the things it takes sometimes to win games. It just may be one possession, one play, a blocked shot, a made free throw, and things like that.”
Lakers Guard Xavier Henry
(On the last five seconds of the game)
“We had a good play. We had a good defense set up for them to make sure a couple guys wouldn’t know if they were switching or not and a couple guys would over-play players that we knew would try to get the ball to. We did a good job at staying on court really tight. We did a good job on tonight’s game.”
(On tonight’s game)
“I don’t want to say it was because we wanted it more, but we could tell this game was on the line. Guys [Laker players] were not going to let us lose this game.”
(On the play that decided tonight’s game)
“I was hoping it was just a block, no matter what. I was praying it was a block. When he [the ref] called it, I was so happy.”
Lakers Forward/Center Pau Gasol
(On the play that decided the game)
“I thought it definitely was a block. I thought he didn’t have to come out of that circle and he slid right underneath me while I was in the air so I thought it was a pretty good call. I mean obviously I was a critical moment so they had to go and recheck it, but I was pretty comfortable and confident.”
(On his game changing free-throws)
“I wanted to make sure I knocked those two down. I focused really intensely. The game was on the line and I had to make up for so many of the shots that I missed tonight.”
(On his team’s defense in the last five seconds of the game)
“I didn’t know if they were going to go for a two or three. I knew that Korver was a hot hand and I had to make sure I covered him, but they used to run a play where Kover comes off and Horford dives to the basket to get a quick easy two. I was aware of both options, but once I saw Korver coming and the ball coming to him I just went for the block.”
Eight different Lakers hit a three-pointer in the game tonight (Los Angeles’ first eight threes of the night were hit by eight different players). The Lakers also had eight different players hit a triple opening night 10/29/13 vs. LAC. Prior to this season, the feat had only been achieved one time in franchise history: 2/1/13 at MIN.
Xavier Henry made his first start as a Laker tonight, and the 19th of his career (16 as a rookie with Memphis in 2010-11 and two last season with New Orleans). Xavier made the most of his opportunity, leading the team with 18 points, the third time he has led the team in scoring this season. Henry became the 7th different Laker to start a game this season.
Pau Gasol registered his third double-double in the first four games with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Pau also hit a three-pointer in the first quarter for the third consecutive home game. Pau sealed the victory with a block of a Kyle Korver jumper on the last possession of the game. Gasol set a career-high with eight three-pointers last season.
Los Angeles has not lost a season series to the Hawks since 1977-78 (1-3), a streak that will continue with the victory tonight.
At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are now 12-3 against the Hawks all-time, winners of their last eight straight dating back to 12/8/06 and have gone 21-3 in their last 24 home games overall.
The 33 Laker first quarter points were a season high for the first period and the 62 first half points was a season high as well.
Chris Kaman (10 points) scored in double-figures off the bench for the third time in four games.
THE FACT: The Lakers have won eight straight against the Hawks and haven't dropped a season series to Atlanta since 1977-78.
THE LEAD: The Lakers let a 17-point third-quarter lead slip away Sunday evening but avoided their second double-digit collapse of the weekend when Pau Gasol hit two free throws with 5.2 seconds left to lift L.A. to a 105-103 victory against the visiting Hawks at Staples Center.
QUOTABLE: "For whatever reason, we go up by 15 and we have great energy, then all of a sudden we start to get soft on defense, without a lot of energy." -- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni
THE STAT: Eight different Lakers made a 3-pointer for the second time this season and third time in club history.
TURNING POINT: The Hawks had been chasing the Lakers since early in the first quarter when they finally got even at 103 on Al Horford's shot from the elbow with 35 seconds remaining. Jordan Hill, limited to just under four minutes through the first three quarters, once again demonstrated why he deserves more playing time when he corralled an offensive rebound on L.A.'s final possession, which led to Gasol's winning free throws. The Hawks had one final chance to win or tie, but Gasol got a piece of Kyle Korver's desperate heave from the baseline. QUOTABLE II: "It was a great little reaction by Pau to get out there and pressure him. At that point in the game, everybody's got to be on their toes." -- Lakers guard Steve Nash
HOT: There was still 4:43 remaining in the first half when Shawne Williams sank a 3-pointer, becoming the eighth different Laker to score from beyond the arc in the half. L.A. made five of its first seven tries from long range before cooling off and finishing 9-for-25 overall. Korver was as hot as anyone from beyond the arc, converting all six of his 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 22 points.
NOT: Gasol was expected to benefit from his height advantage against the Hawks, while Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague was predicted to run circles around the veteran L.A. backcourt. Neither went as planned. Gasol settled for perimeter shots all too often and when he did try to go inside, his attempts looked awkward and forced. He sat for a long stretch of the second half before re-entering with 5:39 remaining. He missed all four of his field-goal attempts and one of two free throws. On L.A.'s final possession, he missed a short jump hook but was bailed out by Hill's offensive rebound. Gasol did finish with 13 rebounds, but all came on the defensive end. Teague shot 7-for-18 from the floor with 14 points and didn't do much distributing either, finishing with four assists.
QUOTABLE III: "I'm happy with the way our guys responded in the second half. They competed in a lot of different ways and played the way we want to play for 48 minutes." -- Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer
GOOD MOVE: D'Antoni moved small forward Xavier Henry into the starting lineup and brought Nick Young off the bench. The decision seemed to help both players. Henry finished with a team-high 18 points, though he was not credited with a rebound in 26 minutes, and Young finished with 13 points off the bench. Young was particularly effective in his first run, converting four of five field-goal attempts and distributing three assists, which was two more than he totaled in the first three games.
BAD MOVE: Korver had plenty of time to set his feet before his final shot. The ball was inbounded on Atlanta's end of the floor with 5.2 seconds on the clock, but instead of turning and facing the basket -- and possibly using a pump fake to get Gasol in the air -- Korver spun and shot blindly after receiving the pass. The Hawks can also look back at their 14-for-26 shooting from the free-throw line, which included a 6-for-15 first half. NOTABLE: Korver has made a 3-pointer in 76 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA. ... The Lakers let a 21-point first-half lead get away in Friday's loss to the visiting Spurs.
UP NEXT: For the Lakers, Tuesday @ Dallas, Thursday @ Houston, Friday @ New Orleans. For the Hawks, Tuesday @ Sacramento, Thursday @ Denver, Saturday vs. Orlando.