On most nights this season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been able to pull away from bad teams early and beat them comfortably. While they beat the Atlanta Hawks 101-96 for their 14th consecutive win on the road, it didn’t come as easy as most of their wins against bottoming teams were, and their shooting — or lack thereof — played a huge role in that.
The Lakers shot 16.1% from behind the arc in 32 attempts on Sunday — a new season-low for them. Their previous season-low was 17.1% on 35 attempts. LeBron James made a team-high four 3-pointers in 10 attempts. The rest of the team made just one 3-pointer, and it came from Rajon Rondo. Outside of Rondo, the Lakers’ guards shot 0-11 on their 3-point attempts.
The fact that the Lakers weren’t hitting their outside shots was strange, but it was even stranger that head coach Frank Vogel didn’t go to Quinn Cook or Troy Daniels for a scoring punch from behind the arc. Yes, they give up a lot on defense, but they could have been useful in small doses. If they’re not valuable in those situations, it’s hard to think of a scenario where they are.
Luckily for the Lakers, they employ two superstar forwards than can make up for whatever the team is lacking on most nights in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. James and Davis combined for 59 points, 26 rebounds, 10 assists, five blocks and two steals. Keeping both of them quiet is a tough task for any team, but especially the Hawks, who have a lot of “tweeners” on their roster.
It wasn’t a pretty win, but it’s all the same in the win column.
The Lakers — now 24-3 on the season — will take on the 18-9 Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Davis was favoring his right leg for most of the game, so it will be interesting to see if he plays then.