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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hawks beat Lakers

Hawks visited Lakers and got a 114-110 victory, despite Bryant's effort. Atlanta`s Josh Smith tied career-bests with 21 points and 15 rebounds on Wednesday night.

What's more, Josh Childress added 21 points off the bench and Joe Johnson compiled 20 points and a personal-best 15 assists for the Hawks, who won for only the fifth time away from home this season.

Now the Lakers have to spend six days thinking about their loss to the Atlanta Hawks, who hadn't beaten a Western Conference team on the road in more than a year.

In fact, Kobe Bryant finished with 39 points but uncharacteristically missed 4 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Joe Johnson had a monstrous 20-point, 15-assist game.

To make it clear, it was a disastrous game for the Lakers, who led by 15 points in the first quarter and appeared on the way to an easy night. They went just 6 of 15 from the line in the fourth quarter, though, and the Hawks went 27 of 31 for the game.

The Lakers had a chance to tie in the final minute as Bryant stole a Royal Ivey pass along the sideline and fed ahead to Smush Parker. However Parker blew the dunk with Smith closing fast from behind.

It's important to notice that Bryant and Parker ended up falling on top of each other, and the Lakers couldn't grab the loose ball. At the other end, Johnson followed Ivey's missed shot all alone with 22.7 seconds left. Bryant missed a 3-point attempt with 15.9 seconds left.

Bryant was the hero in Lakers victory

Kobe Bryant was 6-for-20 from the field and was outscored by Utah guard Devon Brown, but his 23 points were enough to help the Lakers get a victory over the Jazz 94-88 on Monday night.

Bryant, whose league-leading scoring average dropped from 35.2 to 34.9, averaged 43.4 points in January - including a franchise-record 81-point effort against Toronto and a streak of 62 consecutive free throws made.

''I really don't care about the scoring title. I could care less,'' Bryant said. ''I don't care about shooting the ball or anything. I mean, if I need to score 35 or 40 points, or whatever it is, I do it to win the game. If I don't need to, then I don't. We needed this win, and that is what we were able to do.''