Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks Preview
The Lakers are currently 10th in the Western Conference and 2.5 games out of eighth place. They are 28-28 on the season, lost their most recent game and are 3-7 in their last 10. The Hawks are 12th in the East and are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, even while they’ve been on a homestand lately. They are 18-38 on the season and 4-6 in their last 10.
This will be LeBron James and the Lakers’ only trip to Atlanta this season as they look to sweep the season series. Los Angeles won the first game of the season between the teams on November 11, 107-106. James led the Lakers with 26 points and Taurean Prince had 23 for the Hawks.
Time: 7:30pm ET
Arena: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
Channel: SPECSN, FSSE-ATL
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
The Lakers have been up and down lately and their downs have been way down. They were blown out by 42 points against the Pacers last Tuesday before answering back with a 129-128 win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday. But on Sunday night, they were blown out yet again, 120-143 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
While the Lakers scored 40 points in the first quarter, it became a feat they could not repeat as the 76ers defense limited them to 27 or fewer points in the next three quarters. In the loss, the Lakers, who traded away standout young center Ivica Zubac at the trade deadline, had no answer for Joel Embiid, who finished with 37 points and 14 rebounds.
While James regularly leads the Lakers, it was his sidekick, Kyle Kuzma, who was one of the few bright spots against Philadelphia. The second-year forward has played well this year and finished with 39 points for the Lakers. JaVale McGee had 21 points and 13 rebounds in his starting role.
James nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. Brandon Ingram added 19 points, and new additions Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala combined for just 10 total points.
Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup
The Hawks’ three-game skid has included losses to the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic. Against the Magic, the Hawks rallied late, but it wasn’t enough as the Magic built a strong lead in the second and third quarters.
The Hawks had six players in double figures, including Jeremy Lin, who arranged a buyout yesterday and is apparently on his way to the Toronto Raptors. Lin has 12 points and four assists in his final game and has had a solid season in a role that has allowed him to provide some scoring help and a steady hand at point guard off the bench. He also mentored Hawks rookie Trae Young.
The Hawks were led in scoring by Alex Len, who came off the bench for 16 points in just 19 minutes. John Collins and rookie Kevin Huerter had 15 points apiece, and Young had 13 points and seven assists.
Hawks veteran Vince Carter did not play in the Magic game and his minutes lately have been inconsistent. With Lin gone, he could be the beneficiary of a minutes boost, since they will need to find more help off the bench to join Len and Omari Spellman, who have played well in a reserve role lately.
Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks Betting Odds
The Lakers are 5.5-point favorites to win tonight’s game on the road. Los Angeles is 12-16 on the road and 20-13 as the favorite, while Atlanta is 8-16 at home and 17-36 as the underdog.
The over/under is 236 points and the Lakers are -225 on the moneyline after opening at -200.
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