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Lakers vs. Hawks Preview: Atlanta says goodbye to Kobe, Lakers try for second straight win

Can the Lakers go on a miniature winning streak?

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers try to win two straight games for the first time this season with a visit to the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers snapped a seven-game skid with a victory over the Washington Wizards, and Atlanta isn't the juggernaut that rolled through the Eastern Conference through the '14-15 season, getting off to a 12-9 start.

Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap continue to be the lifeblood of the Hawks, each putting up just over 13 field goal attempts per game. The Hawks have a top-10 offensive rating with a middling defensive rating, most recently letting the Toronto Raptors outscore them 39-20 in an ugly fourth-quarter collapse. Those are the kinds of stretches that have plagued L.A. through the first month of the season.

The Lakers played a more team-oriented game against the Wizards, then leaned on Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter to deliver 12 points for a much-needed victory. It's hard to predict which Lakers team will come out on any given night, from a play style standpoint to the rotation. Nick Young took a DNP-CD while D'Angelo Russell spent the second half of the fourth quarter watching from the bench. What will the dice roll be tonight?

It can be argued that Atlanta was the place Kobe's rapid decline began. The rolled ankle he suffered after Dahntay Jones went under him on a jumper was the first major dent Kobe took in the final stretch leading up to his Achilles tear. If you're seeking a connection for the "full-circle" effect, there's a painful one.

Enjoy the game, with the Lakers off Saturday before firing up a back-to-back that starts in Detroit and ends in Toronto.

Time: 5 p.m. PT


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