Hawks Crush Lakers Amid Trade Buzz

Star Performers Shine in High-Stakes NBA Showdown

by Zain ul Abedin
Hawks Crush Lakers Amid Trade Buzz
© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Trae Young showcased his prowess by contributing 26 points, impressively hitting his first six attempts from beyond the arc, as the Atlanta Hawks handed the Los Angeles Lakers their second consecutive double-digit defeat in a 138-122 showdown on Tuesday night.

The Hawks took charge from the beginning of the second half, netting three consecutive baskets and extending their lead to a commanding 17 points, prompting the Lakers to call for an immediate timeout. However, the timeout didn't change the game's tide, as Atlanta expanded their lead to an insurmountable 20 points, with the Lakers struggling to narrow the gap to within 10 points for the remainder of the game.

This clash between the two teams held additional significance due to ongoing trade discussions leading to the approaching trade deadline. The Lakers, playing without the services of Anthony Davis, who was absent due to left hip and Achilles tendon issues following a previous 135-119 loss to the Houston Rockets, fell below the .500 mark with a record of 24-25.

Austin Reaves led the Lakers with an impressive 28-point performance, while LeBron James contributed 20 points, but their efforts fell short in front of a capacity crowd.

Hawks' Balanced Offensive Dominance

Dejounte Murray was instrumental for the Hawks, amassing 24 points and making pivotal mid-range jumpers in a crucial stretch during the fourth quarter, effectively thwarting any hopes of a Lakers comeback.

Despite recent trade rumors involving Murray, he displayed his value on the court, helping the Hawks secure their second consecutive victory. Jalen Johnson made a significant contribution with 19 points for the Hawks, while Bogdan Bogdanovic and Saddiq Bey each added 18 points to the scoreboard.

Atlanta exhibited its depth as seven players reached double-digit scoring figures, and the team shot an impressive 16 of 38 from beyond the three-point line, finishing the game with a 52% field goal percentage. The Lakers deeply felt the absence of Anthony Davis, who typically averages 24.9 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.

Jaxson Hayes started in his place, recording six points and six rebounds, but his performance could not match Davis's all-around impact. There were initial uncertainties regarding whether the 39-year-old LeBron James would play on consecutive nights, but he ultimately took the court and was included in the starting lineup.

In another positive development for the Hawks, De'Andre Hunter returned to action for the first time since December 20, contributing six points in 16 minutes off the bench after missing 19 games due to right knee inflammation.

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