GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Atlanta Hawks 24 17 10 27 78
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 27 15 17 27 86

Lakers beat Hawks 86-78 behind Gasol's late surge

Associated Press

Posted Feb 14 2012 10:02PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Pau Gasol scored seven of his 20 points in the final 5:20 and grabbed 13 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks 86-78 on Tuesday night.

Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who returned from a 3-3 road trip and improved to 12-2 at home - compared to 5-10 away. Kobe Bryant, whose jumper in the final 5 seconds beat Toronto on Sunday, finished this one with only 10 points in 34 minutes on 5 for 18 shooting.

The Hawks shot just 34.4 percent in the opener of a five-game trip. Jeff Teague led them with 18 points, and All-Star Joe Johnson was held to 15 in 37 minutes on 7 for 17 shooting. Josh Smith, still smarting from his All-Star sub, also scored 15.

It was the only meeting this season between the teams, due to the lockout-shortened, 66-game schedule. The last time Atlanta won the season series was 1978-79, when it took three of four under coach Hubie Brown.

Bryant, who missed 10 of his first 11 shots against the New York Knicks last Friday in a 92-85 loss, was 1 for 10 from the field in the first half against Atlanta. But he made four of his first five after intermission, helping Los Angeles take a 59-51 lead into the fourth quarter.

The 14-time All-Star and two-time scoring champ, who turns 34 years old on Aug. 23, came in leading the NBA with a 29.2 average. The oldest player to win a league scoring title was Michael Jordan, who was 35 years and 61 days old when he finished the 1997-98 campaign with a league-best 28.7 average in his final season with the Chicago Bulls.

The Lakers' annual Grammy road trip was an eventful one for Bryant, who overtook Shaquille O'Neal for fifth place on the career scoring list in his hometown of Philadelphia - and became the 10th player to make 10,000 field goals in the NBA with a 3-pointer on his final shot in the Lakers' loss at New York.

Steve Blake, playing his first home game since returning from an injury, made a 23-footer and a 3-pointer 67 seconds apart to give the Lakers a 74-62 lead with 5:47 to play. Gasol scored their next seven points on a short jumper, a hook shot and a 3-pointer that gave Los Angeles its biggest lead, 81-64, with 3:38 remaining.

The Lakers, who have scored 100 of more points in only three of their first 29 games, led 42-41 at halftime after Metta World Peace hit a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds on the clock. It was the team's only field goal in 14 attempts during the final 6:39 of the second quarter - a drought that began after reserve swingman Troy Murphy's 3 gave them a 38-30 lead. Bynum made six of seven shots in the half and had 13 points - offsetting 13 by Smith.

Former Laker Vladimir Radmanovic entered the game with 2:57 left in the first quarter and hit a pair of 3-pointers 68 seconds apart before Tracy McGrady beat the buzzer with another 3 to cut the Hawks' deficit to 27-24. Atlanta was 7 for 27 overall from behind the arc. The Lakers, who came in with a league-worst 39.1 percentage from 3-point range, were 8 for 17.

Reserve center Erick Dampier, playing in his third game with Atlanta after signing a 10-day contract last Thursday, was the first player off the Hawks' bench and played 16 scoreless minutes with four rebounds.

Notes: Tough Love Dept.: The Hawks are 0-6 against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day - including an 87-86 loss in 1996, when Magic Johnson posted his first triple-double since returning to the Lakers after announcing in 1991 that he was retiring because of the HIV virus. ... The Lakers also hosted Atlanta in their first game following last year's Grammy road trip, beating them 104-80. ... Since moving into Staples Center for the 1999-00 season, the Lakers have a .747 winning percentage during the regular season when they play a home game immediately following a road game (168-57). ... Bryant has had the Lakers' highest-scoring game against 18 of the league's other 29 franchises. But the most productive game by any Laker against the Hawks was by Elgin Baylor, who had back-to-back 52-point outings against the St. Louis Hawks during a three-day stretch in December 1961.

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

View More Photos

Points Gasol 20, 9-22 FG
Rebounds Bynum 15, 4 OFF 11 DEF
Assists Blake 6
Steals 4 with 1
Blocks Gasol 4


Mike Brown:

Lakers coach Mike Brown’s opening statement:

“Obviously we won the game. On the defense end of the floor I thought that our guys were very active. On the days when we don’t shoot well, that’s what’s going to help us win ball games, especially come playoff time in a seven game series. So you live with that, you like that, as a coach because your guys are at least trying to play the right way.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown on tonight’s performance:

“We got a good performance from a lot of guys. Basically the whole team stepped up at certain times. I think that when our first unit went flat, our second unit came out and gave us energy especially when [Andrew] Bynum was with them. They moved the ball and they moved bodies, they were flying around defensively, communicating, and covering for one another so that was fun to watch when that group was out there.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown on the team:

“[Andrew] Goudlock was getting those big first hits, especially those two threes he hit. Steve Blake did a nice job of running the team with the six assists. And from our starters, obviously you get two guys, two bigs that are hitting double doubles with Pau [Gasol] with thirteen and [Andrew] Bynum with fifteen. It’s good basketball from the right people even though it was a tough shooting night for us.”

Kobe Bryant

Lakers Kobe Bryant on holding the Hawks to 78 points:

“We’re a very good defensive team; we’re one of the tops in the league. Obviously we’re at home where our momentum can carry us a little bit and get a little benefit of the whistle.”

Lakers Kobe Bryant on their performance tonight:

“We got out on transition a lot tonight, we were able to get some steals and get some defensive rebounds and turn them into easy points which has been very tough for us to get those easy baskets.”

Lakers Kobe Bryant on Steve Blake’s return:

“He’s a point guard through and through. We had guys playing out of position left and right. With him coming back guys are a little bit more stability to our lineup.”

Pau Gasol:

Lakers Pau Gasol on gaining momentum after a tough first half:

“We weren’t being very accurate without game plan and moving the ball but we got ourselves going, we got some energy going especially in the second half and we came up with some big stops, rebounded well and gave ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Lakers Pau Gasol on the teams bench play:

“The second unit really played well, I think they moved the ball really well, found the open guy, and knocked down shots. It was fun to watch. I think that got us going and we were able to finish it off. “

Lakers Pau Gasol on coming back after a long road trip:

“Your body doesn’t feel the usual when you come back from that kind of trip. With the time difference and everything it takes a game to get yourself back to normal and feeling normal. But we fought through it and we pushed ourselves and we found a way to win this game against a very quality team.”

Larry Drew:

Hawks coach Larry Drew on team’s second-half performance:

“We couldn’t buy a shot. I don’t know how many layups we missed. We just missed a ton of point-blank shots. We turned the ball over at some crucial times, too. Defensively, I thought we were pretty much right there on the money, but we just couldn’t buy a shot. On the road, you just can’t do that. You get those opportunities, you have to score more and come away with free throws. We just didn’t finish tonight.”

Hawks coach Larry Drew on how his front line dealt with Lakers’ size:

"For the most part, I think they held their own. They’re a big team with their size and length. It was a concern going into the game, but Zaza [Pachulia] did a good job of battling out there, Erick Dampier did a good job of battling and so did Josh Smith. For the most part, I thought our guys did a great job and they were battling. Obviously, you can look at the stats and see that their size and length did affect us, but we gave it our best shot.”

Hawks coach Larry Drew on level of frustration regarding team’s offensive performance:

“It’s a little frustrating, but this is the first one that we had where we just did a poor job of finishing at the basket. It was from start to finish. As I told the guys at halftime, we just have to have more focus when we’re going to the rim. Another area where I thought we weren’t very good was our transition [offense]. We weren’t making the smart play. When you’re playing on the road and when you get the opportunity to score easy baskets, you have to take advantage of it. When you get to the basket, you have to finish and tonight, we just didn’t --- we didn’t get it done.”

Joe Johnson:

Hawks’ Joe Johnson on the loss:

“We weren’t able to get stops and get out in transition. I thought we slowed down a lot and really weren’t on the attack. We made the game a lot harder. Our help defense wasn’t as good as it was in the first half but we still had a chance to win the game.”

Hawks’ Joe Johnson on the Hawks’ shooting 34.4% from the field:

“It wasn’t a great shooting night, but you can make up for that with effort and playing defense. I thought our defense was pretty good tonight, but on offense we just missed a lot of easy shots and it hurt us toward the end of the game.”

Hawks’ Joe Johnson on shooting 27 three-pointers:

“It’s not characteristic of us at all. We have a lot of athletes and we can get to the basket. We cause a lot of matchup problems but we didn’t really exploit them [tonight].”

Josh Smith:

Hawks’ Josh Smith on the Hawks’ struggles in the second half:

“We just couldn’t make shots in the second half. There was a lid on the basket for a long period of time especially in that third quarter. They separated the difference. Whenever you can’t make shots you have to make it that much tougher for them to score as well.”

Hawks’ Josh Smith on collecting 17 offensive rebounds:

“I think we did a good job at being active and crashing the boards. It’s just hard we weren’t able to come up with a win.”

Hawks-Lakers Preview


Posted Feb 13 2012 1:15PM

The Atlanta Hawks have had a habit of barely showing up against some of the NBA's better teams, a trend that was readily apparent their last time out against perhaps the league's most talented squad.

As long as they're playing at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers certainly belong in that same upper echelon.

The Hawks open a five-game trip Tuesday night against the Lakers, who return from their own lengthy road swing looking to win for a 12th time in 14 home games.

It seemed like Atlanta's penchant for wilting against better opponents was a thing of the past after consecutive wins over Indiana and Orlando last week, but it lost 107-87 to visiting Miami on Sunday in a game in which it trailed by as many as 32.

The Hawks (18-10) have 13 wins against sub-.500 opponents by an average of 15.1 points, but the loss to the Heat was something all too familiar for coach Larry Drew's team. Atlanta's nine losses to clubs with winning records have come by an average of 13.1 points, and it's fallen behind by at least 20 in its last five defeats overall.

"We just didn't compete. You can't have that in this league," said Joe Johnson, who has averaged 13.3 points in the Hawks' losses and 20.9 in their wins. "You would think everyone would come out prepared to battle for 48 minutes, but it seems as if we just didn't want it."

The Lakers' problems haven't been as much about the quality of their opponent - they're 8-9 against above-.500 teams - as they've been about where they're playing.

But after starting 2-7 on the road, Los Angeles (16-12) salvaged a split of a six-game trip Sunday in Toronto thanks to Kobe Bryant. After the Lakers blew an 18-point lead and were trailing by four in the final minute, the league's leading scorer had six of his 27 points, a steal and an assist to help secure a 94-92 win.

"We are a poor road team and that is what we need to turn around," Bryant said. "If we could figure out a way to win on the road our record would be much, much better. We are a very good home team."

That's largely due to defense. The 85.2 points per game the Lakers allow at Staples are by far the fewest in the Western Conference and 10.6 less than they surrender on the road.

Offensively, though, Los Angeles' role players simply tend to knock down shots at home. Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol's numbers vary little, but Steve Blake and Matt Barnes are averaging a combined 18.0 points and shooting 47.2 percent at Staples compared to 10.5 points and 34.9 percent on the road.

The Lakers have scored at least 96 points in nine of their 13 home games, a number they've reached just twice on the road.

The Hawks have the NBA's best road defense, however, surrendering 89.3 points per game and 42.0 percent shooting. They've held opponents to five points fewer than that during four consecutive road wins while shooting 47.3 percent from 3-point range.

Recent history is against those hallmarks following Atlanta into Staples Center. The Hawks have lost five straight road games to the Lakers by an average of 17.0 points, allowing 109.2 points per game while shooting 25.0 percent from long distance.

Josh Smith has been held to 8.8 points on 37.2 percent shooting in the last four of that stretch.

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
  #15 World Peace SF #24 Williams  
  #16 Gasol PF #5 Smith  
  #17 Bynum C #27 Pachulia  
  #24 Bryant SG #2 Johnson  
  #2 Fisher PG #0 Teague  

Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is probable.
Josh McRoberts
(sprained left big toe and left thumb) is probable.
Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is probable.

Jason Collins
(sprained left elbow) out.
Al Horford
(left pectoral surgery) out.

Game 1: 2/14 - ATL @ LAL


The Lakers swept last season’s series with Atlanta 2-0, after splitting the 2009-10 season series with the Hawks 1-1 for the third consecutive year. Los Angeles has not lost a season series to the Hawks since 1978-79 (1-3). This will be the 316th meeting between the two franchises dating back to their days in Minneapolis and TriCities/Milwaukee/St. Louis respectively. Since the Hawks moved to Atlanta, the two teams have met 114 times with the Lakers leading the all-time series 71-43. The Lakers are 7-3 against the Hawks in their last 10 overall meetings. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 9-3 against the Hawks all-time, are winners of their last five straight and have gone 18-3 in their last 21 home games overall. On the road, the Lakers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 trips to Atlanta and in their most recent meeting (3/8/11) snapped a three-game losing streak at Philips Arena. In 23 games (19 starts) against the Hawks, Kobe Bryant is averaging 22.7 points. Bryant scored 41 points 11/1/10 vs. Atlanta, finishing just short of Jerry West’s team record 42 points against the Hawks (2/12/70). Lakers guard Steve Blake and Hawks forward Josh Smith both are alumni of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Hawks forward Vladimir Radmanovic played in 166 games for the Lakers from 2006-09, averaging 7.1 points and Hawks guard Jannero Pargo played in 47 games for the Lakers from 2002-04, averaging 2.1 points. Additionally, Hawks head coach Larry Drew played two seasons with the Lakers (1989-91), averaging 4.4 points and 2.6 assists in 128 games.

With a 23-foot jumper at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter 2/6 at Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,601) are Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

On February 6th at Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum totaled 20 points (8-13 FG) and 20 rebounds, marking his second career 20-point, 20-rebound game (3rd career 20+ rebound game). Bynum’s other 20-20 game came earlier this season on January 3rd, when Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center, becoming the youngest Laker to do so (24 years, 68 days) since Rudy LaRuso tallied 30 points and 21 rebounds on February 26, 1961 at the age of 23 years, 107 days. Bynum’s only other 20+ rebound game came on 4/5/11 vs. Utah, when he grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds. The last Laker to record a 20-20 game prior to Bynum was Pau Gasol, who posted 30 points and 20 rebounds on February 16, 2011 at Cleveland.

In the Lakers 95-90 loss at Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers out-rebounded the 76ers 55-30, marking the first time the Lakers lost despite out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds since they out-rebounded New Jersey 55-28 in a 109-103 loss to the Nets at STAPLES Center on 1/28/05. The last time any team lost when out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds occurred on 3/11/09 at Detroit, when the Pistons out-rebounded New York 64-39, but fell to the Knicks 116-111.

On February 3 rd Kobe Bryant was named Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in December and January. The award is Bryant’s 14th Western Conf. Player of the Month honor and 15th Player of the Month award overall. Bryant was also named NBA Player of the Month for December of 2000, a year before the award was divided into Eastern and Western Conferences for the 2001-02 season. Bryant has won multiple Player of the Month awards in a single season four times (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09). Bryant’s previous Western Conference Player of the Month awards came in March 2011, December 2009, January 2009, December 2008, April 2008, February 2008, March of 2007, December 2006, April 2006, January 2006, March 2004, January 2003 and November 2001.

Bryant averaged a league-high 30.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists. On January 1 st at Denver, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 28,000 points. In a victory over Phoenix on January 10 th , Bryant scored an NBA season-high 48 points, kicking off four straight 40+ point games over a five night span. Bryant also achieved a couple of Lakers milestones, surpassing Jerry West as the Lakers franchise leader in free throws made on January 28 th at Milwaukee, then one night later, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the franchise leader in field goals made in a win at Minnesota.

On Thursday, February 2nd, the Lakers headed to Denver, embarking on their annual Grammy’s Trip. Since STAPLES Center opened prior to the 1999-2000 season, the venue has been host to the Grammy Awards each winter, with the exception of the 2003 Grammy Awards, which were held at Madison Square Garden

1999-2000 6-game 6-0 2/15 - 2/23
2000-01 6-game 4-2 2/13 - 2/21
2001-02 5-game 4-1 2/21 - 2/27
2002-03 Grammy Awards Held at Madison Square Garden
2003-04 7-game 4-3 2/1 - 2/11
2004-05 5-game 1-4 2/6 - 2/13
2005-06 7-game 2-5 1/29 - 2/8
2006-07 8-game 3-5 1/30 - 2/11
2007-08 9-game 7-2 1/31 - 2/13
2008-09 6-game 6-0 1/30 - 2/8
2009-10 8-game 5-3 1/21 - 2/1
2010-11 7-game 4-3 2/5 - 2/16


On February 2nd, the NBA announced that Kobe Bryant is this year’s leading vote-getter in the Western Conference in the 2012 All-Star Balloting program presented by Sprint with 1,555,479 votes, ranking second league-wide behind Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (1,600,390). This marks Bryant’s 14th consecutive All-Star selection, matching Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in NBA history to be selected that many times consecutively (14 times each). In league history, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), O’Neal (15), Michael Jordan (14), Malone (14) and West (14) have had as many or more NBA All-Star selections. Andrew Bynum, a first-time All-Star and now the 29th Laker in franchise history to be named to an All-Star team, led all Western Conference centers with 1,051,945 votes. Pau Gasol (470,353), who made his fourth All-Star team last season as a reserve (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), finished 3rd among forwards in the West behind Kevin Durant (1,345,566) and Blake Griffin (876,451). Chris Paul (1,138,743) will start at guard alongside Bryant in the West. Starting alongside Howard in the East are LeBron James (1,360,680) and Carmelo Anthony (1,041,290) at forward and Derrick Rose (1,514,723) and Dwyane Wade (1,334,223) in the backcourt.

This marks the fifth straight season that Bryant has led the Western Conference in all-star balloting. Last season, Bryant, who was the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, received 2,380,016 votes to lead all players in balloting, the second time in his career he has done so (2003). In 2009-10, Bryant received 2,456,224 votes, finishing second overall to Cleveland’s LeBron James (2,549,693). In 2008-09, he accumulated 2,805,397 votes, finishing third in overall balloting behind Dwight Howard (3,150,181) and James (2,940,823). In 2007-08, Bryant garnered 2,004,940 votes to finish fourth in overall voting behind Kevin Garnett (2,399,148), James (2,108,831) and Howard (2,066,991). In 2006-07, when he earned his second All-Star MVP, Bryant finished third overall in balloting behind James and Yao Ming. A four-time All-Star MVP (2002 Philadelphia, 2007 Las Vegas, 2009 Phoenix, 2011 Los Angeles), Bryant is now a 14-time All-Star and had started 11 consecutive All-Star games before missing the 2009-10 contest due to a sprained left ankle.

Leading for all but 26 seconds of their January 29th victory at Minnesota, the Lakers managed their second road win of the season despite not recording a single steal for only the second time in franchise history. The only other game in which the Lakers did not record a steal came in a January 7, 2005 victory over Houston (111-104). Since the steals statistic began being compiled prior to the 1973-74 season, this was the 47th time a team has not recorded a single steal in a game. With the lack of steals, the Lakers saw the Timberwolves match an opponent franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game (4), originally established in a 108-114 loss 114 loss 12/21/01 at Memphis.


With a free throw at the 6:34 mark in the third quarter 1/28/12 at Milwaukee, Kobe Bryant surpassed Jerry West (7,160 FTM) as the Lakers franchise leader in free throws made. The following night, on a driving reverse layup with 4:52 remaining in the first half 1/29/12 at Minnesota, Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (9,935 FGM) as the franchise leader in field goals made. Bryant now holds Lakers franchise records for points, field goals made and attempted, free throws made, three-point field goals made and attempted, games played and minutes played while ranking second in steals and free throws attempted and third in assists.

Having gone 7-6 over a 13-game span from 1/5 at Portland thru 1/28 at Milwaukee, the common denominator in each contest, win or lose, was that the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points. The 13-game run of sub 100-point scoring games is the longest streak in franchise history since the introduction of the shot clock prior to the 1954-55 season. Prior to the aforementioned streak, the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points in 12 consecutive games during the 2003-04 season when Los Angeles went 12 games from 1/12/04 - 2/2/04 without hitting triple digits; the Lakers went 6-6 during the stretch of games, eventually scoring 111 points in a 111-106 overtime victory 2/4/04 at Cleveland. The Lakers finished that season with a 98.2 point per game scoring average while limiting their opponents to 94.3 points per game, ultimately winning the West before falling to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. The 98.2 ppg scoring average is the lowest for a Lakers team in the Los Angeles era. In the shot clock era, only the 1954-55 Lakers have averaged fewer points per game in a season (95.6 ppg). Additionally, the only other Lakers 10-game run without scoring at least 100 points in a game came in 2002 (11/3/02 – 11/22/02), with the Lakers going 3-7 during that stretch.

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