Pau Gasol sank a couple of free throws with 5.2 seconds left to help the Los Angeles Lakers secure a 105-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Gasol was fouled as he went up for a close shot.
“Pau got a great look,” point guard Steve Nash told Time Warner Cable SportsNet. “Jordan Hill, he’s been huge for us.” Nash had his best game of the season with 13 points and six assists in 29 minutes of action, the most he has played this season.
Gasol had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers. In his first start of the season, Xavier Henry scored a game-high 18 points and looked like he might be the starter at shooting guard until Kobe Bryant returns from his Achilles injury.
L.A. dominated for most of the game, but Atlanta went on a 27-15 run during the fourth quarter to tie the game at 103 with 35 seconds to play in the game.
“We have a lot of stuff to get better at,” Mike D’Antoni said. “We have had flashes where we play really well and start with a lot of energy, but then we get selfish. We have to continue to move the ball.”
The Lakers bench had another good game as they contributed 48 points, led by Nick Young’s 13 points (on 5-of-9 shooting). Chris Kaman chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds. Wesley Johnson had nine points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Eleven players scored in the game. Jordan Hill had six points and five rebounds in just 14 minutes, but he was all over the boards and his energy seemed infectious.
Kyle Korver was on fire, and hotter than a firecracker on Fourth of July for the Hawks. He made eight of 10 field goals, including all six of his 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 22 points. L.A. struggled to defend him and didn’t get a hand in his face on his jump shots. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap each scored 14 points.
Darren Jacks is a regular contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Follow him on Twitter @djroxalot.