Trae Young Overcomes LeBron James’ Brilliance as Hawks Shock Lakers
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The Los Angeles Lakers continued their struggles on the road Tuesday, suffering a 117-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Trae Young totaled 22 points and 14 assists in the home win at State Farm Arena, the Hawks’ first home victory in their last seven tries. John Collins added 22 points to help the Hawks improve to 19-38 on the season.
LeBron James had his fifth triple-double of the year with 28 points 16 assists and 11 rebounds, but the Lakers ended their two-week road trip with a 2-4 record to fall to 28-29 overall. It’s the first time they are under .500 since a 5-6 start to the season.
LeBron at Point Guard Gives Lakers Best Chance to Win
Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo have taken turns at point guard for the Lakers when healthy this season, but it appears the team is now going to try out James as the primary point guard.
It didn’t lead to a win against the Philadelphia 76ers last game, but LeBron still nearly had a triple-double and had an even plus/minus in what became a 23-point loss.
Once again, he was outstanding from an individual perspective against the Hawks, filling up the stat sheet with 28 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
His passing was especially impressive, totaling 10 assists in the first half before ending up with a season-high 16 to go with just two turnovers.
The first-quarter assist to Brandon Ingram showcased his vision:
#LeBronJames bounces it to Brandon Ingram for the and-1!
Lyle Spencer @LyleMSpencer
LeBron created his own unique position — point god — years ago and has brought it to the #Lakers. Harden is trying to copy it.
Ingram has also seemed to pair well with James running the offense:
Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports
Really good sign for the Lakers since LeBron James’ resturn: Brandon Ingram scoring easy baskets via off-ball movement and cutting
The forward finished with 19 points in the game.
Atlanta isn’t known for its defensive prowess, but the Lakers moved the ball well offensively in the first half. The team seemed to struggle more on that end with Rondo on the court. The veteran had four assists and six turnovers in 33 minutes.
There was talk before the season about the Lakers playing small with LeBron at the 5, but they might be more dangerous going big with the superstar at the 1.
Although the perimeter defense becomes a question mark with this lineup, the offense is extremely dangerous. This is enough for the experiment to continue, especially considering the lack of success with a more traditional approach as of late.
Hawks Getting What They Envisioned with Three-Point Barrage
Things hadn’t been quite as smooth for most of the year, with the three-point shooting especially disappointing as Young struggled with his consistency from deep. The team entered the day ranked just 23rd in the league at 34.6 percent from beyond the arc.
However, the Hawks have been turning around in recent games.
Atlanta had made at least 13 three-pointers at more than a 40 percent rate in each of the past five games. That carried over into Tuesday, with the team setting a franchise record with 10 deep balls in the first quarter:
Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA
The Hawks tied a franchise record with 10 threes made in Q1 vs. the Lakers