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                   === Lakers host Hawks before road trip ===
 (  -  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

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