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Lakers host Hawks before road trip
(SportsNetwork.com) - Before the Los Angeles Lakers exit Hollywood for three straight games against Southwest foes, they will try to get back on track and even their record Sunday versus the Atlanta Hawks.
After shocking the Clippers on opening night, the Lakers have dropped back-to- back games to Golden State and San Antonio. The Warriors burned them by a 125-94 margin and the Lakers failed to take over a Tim Duncan-less Spurs squad Friday night, losing by a 91-85 score.
Spurs guard Tony Parker picked up the scoring slack with Duncan out and posted 24 points with six assists and four rebounds. Parker even hit the tie-breaking bucket with just over two minutes remaining.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Jodie Meeks netted 14 off the bench and Wesley Johnson rounded out the double-digit scorers for Los Angeles with 12 points in a reserve role. The Lakers, who squandered an early 15-point deficit, finished their string of three games in four days.
"There was a lot better execution on their part," Gasol said. "They made a couple of big shots, and we didn't counter."
Steve Nash was 1-for-8 with five points and has yet to play in the fourth quarter this season. Nash has been getting the necessary rest for his aging body and will turn 40 in February.
Lakers future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant sat out again and is still weeks away from a return after tearing his Achilles tendon in April.
The Lakers are scheduled to visit Dallas, Houston and New Orleans next week.
Meanwhile, Atlanta will play its third game of the season and is coming off Friday's 102-95 victory versus the Toronto Raptors down south.
Al Horford turned in a big performance with 22 points and 16 rebounds, while Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague supplied 17 points apiece. Paul Millsap chipped in 15 points, as the Hawks rebounded from a 118-109 season-opening loss against the Dallas Mavericks and shot 46.8 percent for the game in their home opener.
Atlanta used an 18-4 run to close out the first half and the effort gave Hawks new head coach Mike Budenholzer his first win.
"It's a good feeling," Budenholzer said of the win. "But I mostly feel good for our group because of how hard they've worked for the entire coaching staff. Just the energy, the effort, the focus and intensity they bring every day, that's gives me a good feeling."
Korver has made a 3-pointer in 75 straight games and went 5-8 from beyond the arc. His current streak is the fourth-longest in NBA history behind Dana Barros (89), Michael Adams (79) and Dennis Scott (78).
Teague added 12 assists to his stat sheet and is averaging 20.5 points and 10.5 assists this season. The Hawks are still toiling without guard Lou Williams, who is recovering from knee surgery.
The Hawks are beginning a three-game western trek Sunday against the Lakers, Sacramento and Denver, and split a pair of matchups with Los Angeles last season. The Lakers, though, have won four of five and 10 of the past 15 games in this series.
Atlanta has lost seven straight, nine of 10 and 20 of its last 23 contests at the Lakers. Its last road victory was a 114-110 triumph on Feb. 15, 2006.
11/03 10:43:42 ET