NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 8th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (2-1) at Atlanta Hawks (0-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The winless Atlanta Hawks play their first game of the 2005-06 season at home, as they host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers tonight at Philips Arena.
Atlanta started the season with three straight losses on the road. On Saturday, Zach Randolph hit the game-winning free throw with two-tenths of a second remaining, lifting Portland over the Hawks, 94-93, in the Trail Blazers' home-opener at the Rose Garden.
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 23 points and seven assists in the loss to the Trail Blazers, while rookie Salim Stoudamire netted 15 and Josh Childress contributed 13 points.
Johnson, who was acquired from Phoenix in a sign-and-trade deal during the offseason, is averaging 16.7 points and 5.0 assists per game in Atlanta's first three contests.
The Hawks will begin a three-game homestand tonight. They are scheduled to host the Clippers on Thursday and the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
The Lakers start a four-game road trip tonight. They will also visit Minnesota, Philadelphia and Memphis on the current swing.
On Sunday, Bryant racked up 37 points and Chris Mihm had 20 along with a game- high 13 rebounds, as the Lakers posted a 112-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center.
Lamar Odom finished with 20 points on Sunday to help the Lakers top the Nuggets for the second time in five days. They opened their 2005-06 season on November 2 with a 99-97 overtime win at Denver in Phil Jackson's return to the bench.
Bryant is averaging a team-high 36.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists in the Lakers first three games of the year, while Odom has posted 17.0 points and a team-best 11.0 boards per contest.
Last season the teams split a pair of contests. Overall, the Lakers have won three of the last five meetings. The Lakers have lost two straight at Atlanta.
11/08 10:07:03 ET