NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Atlanta
(Sunday, March 29th)
Final Score: Atlanta 86, LA Lakers 76
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Mike Bibby went 5-of-6 from three-point range for 21 points, and the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 86-76, to keep a firm hold on the fourth position in the Eastern Conference.
Flip Murray contributed 14 points for the Hawks, who stopped a two-game slide and hold a 3 1/2 game lead on the Miami Heat for home-court in the first round of the playoffs with eight games to play. Joe Johnson had only 10 on 4- of-18 shooting, but Atlanta held the Lakers under 20 points in three of the four quarters played and held the West leaders to a season-low in points.
Josh Smith provided nine points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks in the win, and Maurice Evans had 13 points. Zaza Pachulia had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta.
"I think both teams played good defense, but offensively (in) the second half we were better," Pachulia said. "We got more stops and key stops. That really helped us to win the game."
Pau Gasol scored a team-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who had a five-game win streak snapped. LA has already secured the top-seed in the West, but the team fell two games behind the Cavaliers for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with nine games remaining.
"You can always blame (the poor shooting) when things go like that," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "Most of it then comes down to the reality of what the basics of basketball (are). That's getting penetration, getting the shots off penetration that you want. I thought they contested some of those shots against us. They weren't good shots."
Kobe Bryant was limited to 17 points and eight rebounds on 7-of-19 shooting, including a poor 1-for-6 mark from long distance.
In a low-scoring first quarter, the Hawks closed on a 18-5 run to take a 20-13 advantage to the second.
The Lakers finished the second quarter on a 12-2 burst to lower their deficit to one, 40-39, at halftime.
Atlanta extended its lead to 10 on the heels of an 11-2 run early in the third quarter. Bibby started and ended the burst with three-pointers, as the Hawks were ahead, 54-44.
LA made it a five-point game, 60-55, before Atlanta closed out the third on a 12-3 run. Evans contributed five points, and his basket in the final minute staked the Hawks to a 72-58 advantage after three quarters.
The Lakers started to make a comeback, but Bibby drained two three-pointers, including one that bounced off the rim, up to the top of the backboard and back down through the hoop to put the Hawks back ahead by 12 with 5:31 to play.
LA never got closer than nine down the stretch.
The teams split two games this season, with each club winning on its home floor...The Lakers fell to 4-1 on a season-long seven game road trip and will visit Charlotte and Milwaukee before returning home...The Hawks finished 2-2 on a four-game homestand...Atlanta has won nine of 12 contests, overall...The Hawks are a gaudy 29-9 at home, while LA fell to 27-10 as the guest...The Lakers were held under 80 points for only the second time all season.
03/29 19:09:20 ET