Coming off of the best five-game stretch of his career, all eyes were on D’Angelo Russell as the Lakers hosted the Atlanta Hawks on national television. Unfortunately, Russell was unable to find the same magic and a depleted Lakers squad was blown out 106-77 by the Hawks.
The Lakers kept it close early, fighting to a four point deficit mid-way through the second, but gave up a devastating run to end the first half trailing 54-36. Missing Kobe, Lou Williams, and Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers lacked the depth to make it a fight in the second half.
Julius Randle led the purple and gold with another impressive double-double, registering 16 points and 10 rebounds against a solid Hawks frontline. The sophomore forward was aggressive and made quick decisions with the ball in his hands. Brandon Bass had a nice game off the bench, chipping in 12 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Russell really struggled against the Hawks, limited to 7 points following his 39 point performance against the Nets and 24 against the Denver Nuggets. He was just 3-16 from the field (including a brutal 1-6 from downtown). He also struggled to take care of the ball, negating his 5 assists with 5 turnovers.
The Hawks beat the Lakers using a balanced attack, with 6 Hawks players scoring in double digits. Schroder led the way with 16 efficient points by slashing his way to the rack.
The Lakers will next look for an unlikely rebound victory against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.