(Basketball news) Los Angeles won two games in a row after a long time as they beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-114. For the Lakers, LeBron James had 25 points and 10 assists in his return from an illness, Russell Westbrook added 18 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as Kendrick Nunn had 23 points, Thomas Bryant had 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder scored 21. For the Hawks, Trae Young scored 21 of his 32 points in the second half for the Hawks, who have lost five of six matches. With this result the Lakers improved their record 18-21 as they are only three games under .500.
”There are going to be times where guys go down, unfortunately, and we have a group of guys that have just been preparing themselves for when it’s their moment to play and play well,” Westbrook said. ”Seems like we’ve been hitting a good stride of figuring that out.”
”We didn’t do a good job stopping the ball (or) protecting the paint,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. ”We had some fight in the second half, but just too deep of a hole.”
”It’s motivating them to step their games up,” Ham said. ”They know I’ll put anybody out there, and if they’re playing the right way, they’ll play a significant amount of minutes.”
Brooklyn Nets continued their scintillating form as they beat the in-form New Orleans Pelicans 108-102. For the Nets, Durant had 33 points and 10 rebounds, Irving scored seven of his 19 points in the final 1:12 secs as T.J. Warren scored 15 points and Royce O’Neale added 14 points. For the Pelicans, CJ McCollum scored 28 points and Naji Marshall had a career-high 23 points as Jose Alvarado added 17 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds. For New Orleans this was their second game since losing Zion Williamson for what is expected to be about three weeks with a right hamstring strain. With this result the Nets jumped into second place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 26-13 which is subsequently also the second best record in the entire league.
”Our growth as a team is just seeing some of the leaders on our team, including myself, be poised,” said Irving, whose 3 from 29 feet away with 44 seconds left gave the Nets a 106-100 lead and doomed New Orleans to just its fifth home loss this season. ”That’s probably where I feel like we’re making incredible strides in games like this.”
”You’ve still got to go out there and lock in on the defensive side of the ball,” Durant continued. ”Those are the type of games you want to play to learn your team and figure out your team even more, because you’re a totally different team when your shots aren’t going in. So, it was a good test for us”
”Obviously we’re down a few players,” Alvarado said. ”We had a chance to win the game and certain things didn’t go our way. … Kyrie hit a big 3 and made it a little bit difficult, but we’ve got to look back and learn.”
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