ATLANTA -- Yeah, about that momentum. It’s not happening on this four-game road trip.
Whatever hope the Los Angeles Lakers had of building off their comeback victory in Charlotte against the Bobcats on Saturday night -- whatever hope they had of building off the steps Kobe Bryant seems to take each game back that he plays -- were squashed Monday with a frustrating 114-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
After an off day Sunday spent watching a movie at a local theater and regrouping after a taxing swing through Oklahoma City and Charlotte, the Lakers seemed well positioned to take this one against the undersized Hawks.
But, as has been the case far too often this season, they went away from what was working offensively, fell apart defensively in the second half and were never really in it down the stretch.
Instead of back-to-back wins, the Lakers face the prospect of back-to-back losses with a game scheduled Tuesday night in Memphis against the Grizzlies.
How it happened: The Lakers had the game in hand in the first half but gave up an unsightly 35 points in the third quarter and looked lost on both sides of the ball, and the Hawks took advantage.
What it means: The Lakers continue to struggle defensively, and it's costing them very winnable games they’ll regret later. This time, they let sharpshooter Kyle Korver obliterate them in the second half with 11 points in the third quarter.
Hits: When the Lakers were playing inside out with Pau Gasol in the first, it really opened up the floor for the rest of the team. Gasol made his first six shots and had 11 points and nine rebounds in the first half. Forward Jordan Hill was the beneficiary of several opportunities created by the attention Gasol drew. He had 13 points and six rebounds in the first half.
Of course, the Lakers totally went away from that in the second half and neither forward contributed much the rest of the game.
Misses: Jodie Meeks has had a rough go of it on this road trip. After making just one of his eight shots on Monday’s game against the Hawks, Meeks is just 5-for-28 in the three games.
Stat of the game: The Lakers were an abysmal 5-for-21 from behind the 3-point arc Monday. At one point in the third quarter, Mike D’Antoni even put sharpshooting, but rarely used, rookie Ryan Kelly into the game to try to jump-start something. He didn’t end up taking a shot in seven minutes of play.
Up next: The Lakers fly to Memphis to conclude this four-game road trip against the Grizzlies on Tuesday night. Memphis is still without center Marc Gasol and recently lost guard Quincy Pondexter for the season.