Update: Josh Smith is OUT.
Kobe & Co. come into Atlanta riding a four-game win streak, while the short-handed Hawks have slipped in the standings and have lost six of their last seven games overall.
Speak of slips, Hawks point guard Jeff Teague rolled his left ankle in Miami against the Heat on Tuesday and will not play against the Lakers. Atlanta will also be without backup center Zaza Pachulia, who is seeking a second opinion on a lingering Achilles injury. Josh Smith is doubtful with a right knee sprain.
Two week ago, Los Angeles was outside looking in on the playoffs and Atlanta was a surprising #4 seed in the East. Now, the Lakers have put themselves smack dab in the middle of Western Conference playoffs talks, while the Hawks have sunk in the standings and are clinging onto the #7 seed.
Atlanta desperately needs a win tonight to stop their recent skid but trying to do so against Kobe and Dwight Howard with a short-handed team is going to be nearly impossible.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Los Angeles Lakers
What?: East vs West Showdown (Game #64, Home Game #31)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 – 7:30 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Devin Harris | SG: Dahntay Jones | SF: Anthony Tolliver | PF: Al Horford | C: Johan Petro
Los Angeles Lakers:
PG: Steve Nash | SG: Kobe Bryant | SF: Metta World Peace | PF: Earl Clark | C: Dwight Howard
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith (right knee sprain) is doubtful. Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle), Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Lou Williams (torn right ACL) are out.
Los Angeles Lakers: Pau Gasol (torn plantar fascia, right foot) and Jordan Hill (left hip surgery) are out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (34-29) … Los Angeles Lakers (34-31)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Lost 3 / HOME: Lost 1 / ROAD: Lost 5 … Los Angeles Lakers –> OVERALL: Won 4 / HOME: Won 6 / ROAD: Won 2
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (19-11) at home … Lakers are (12-20) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks have lost three straight and six of their last seven games overall.
Los Angeles Lakers: Hot. The Lakers are riding a four-game win streak and have won 9-of-11 overall.
Season/Past Season Series
The Lakers come to Philips Arena for the only time this year in the second-and-final showdown with the Hawks. Los Angeles recorded a 99-98 home triumph in the first meeting on Kobe Bryant’s bucket with under 10 seconds to play. Bryant finished the night with 34 points, while Dwight Howard (11 points/15 rebounds) and Steve Nash (15 points/10 assists) notched double-doubles. Al Horford led the Hawks with 24 points and Josh Smith scored 19. L.A. currently owns a four-game win streak in the series, including the last meeting at Philips Arena (101-87) on 3/8/11. Atlanta’s last win against the Lakers was a 109-92 home triumph on 3/31/10. The Lakers lead the all-time series 182-134, including a 30-27 road mark (since the Hawks moved to Atlanta).
LAST MEETING — LAKERS 99, HAWKS 98 — STAPLES CENTER — 3/3/13
It came down to the wire but the Lakers were able to escape with a 99-98 home win over Atlanta. The Hawks had the ball, trailing by one, with nine seconds to play but Steve Blake came up with a steal to secure the victory for the home team. Atlanta had a strong night offensively, shooting .500 (41-82) from the field, dishing out 34 assists, and outscoring Los Angeles in the paint (44-38), in fast break points (24-16) and in points off turnovers (29-16). However, L.A. won the battle of the boards 43-36 and made 13-18 FTs (.722), compared to a 8-15 (.533) showing from the charity stripe for the Hawks. Al Horford continued his hot play with 24 points (12-20 FGs) for Atlanta, while Josh Smith scored 19 and Devin Harris and Kyle Korver 16 apiece. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 34, and Dwight Howard (11 points/15 rebounds) and Steve Nash (15 points/10 assists) had double-doubles.
Hawks coach Larry Drew played with the Lakers from 1989-91, was an assistant coach for several years with the club, and makes his permanent home in LA. Hawks Player Development Instructor Nick Van Exel starred for the Lakers from 1993-98, while assistant coach Lester Conner is also a former player for the Lakers. Ivan Johnson finished his collegiate career at Cal. State San Bernadino. Pau Gasol was originally selected by Atlanta (third overall) in the 2001 NBA Draft before his rights were dealt on draft night. Dwight Howard played his high school ball at SW Atlanta Christian Academy, and was an AAU teammate of Josh Smith. Jodie Meeks starred at Norcross HS, leading the Blue Devils to the 2006 state title. Jordan Hill grew up in Atlanta, and played his first two high schools seasons as North Springs HS in Sandy Springs. Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham played 75 games for Atlanta in 2002-03. Dahntay Jones and Chris Duhon were college teammates for two seasons at Duke. Dahntay Jones has been teammates with Pau Gasol (Memphis 2003-07) and Metta World Peace (Sacramento 2007-08). DeShawn Stevenson has been teammates with Dwight Howard (Orlando 2004-06) and Antawn Jamison (2006 through part of 2009-10 season). Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks played together in Philadelphia (part of 2009-10 through 2012).
Information was used from the Hawks and Lakers official gamenotes