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Lakers hold off late surge by Hawks in 105-103 win

Lakers hold off late surge by Hawks in 105-103 win
Lakers guard Wesley Johnson, top, battles for a loose ball with Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Sunday's game at Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The

Lakers

improved to .500 (2-2) with a tight 105-103 win over the

Atlanta Hawks

(1-2).

Pau Gasol hit the game-winning free throws with six seconds left -- followed by a block on Kyle Korver, preventing a possible overtime session.

The Lakers barely recovered after losing a 21-point lead, Atlanta’s Paul Millsap tying the score at 103 with 35.3 seconds left.

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Jordan Hill collected a crucial offensive rebound with 17.9 seconds left, setting up the Lakers' final offensive sequence and Gasol's free throws.

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Kyle Korver led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting. The Hawks shot 44.4% from the field with six players in double figures. Al Horford notched a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

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Xavier Henry, making his first start for the Lakers, led the team with 18.

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Gasol finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Steve Nash hit double figures with 13 points. Nick Young also had 13 off the bench.

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Eleven Lakers played as Coach Mike D'Antoni continued to experiment with his rotation.

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The Lakers play next on Tuesday night in Dallas against the Mavericks.

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Lakers 88, Hawks 76 (end of third quarter)

The Hawks briefly closed to within seven points before the Lakers regained composure, extending their lead back to double digits.

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Through 36 minutes, the Lakers shot an even 50% from both the field (34-68) and the three-point line (9-18), led by 14 from new starter Xavier Henry.

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The Hawks had four scorers in double figures through three quarters, led by 13 from Kyle Korver and Mike Scott.

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Pau Gasol notched a double-double in 22 minutes with 13 points and 13 boards.

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Lakers 62, Hawks 49 (halftime)

The Lakers extended their lead over the Hawks to 21 points in the second quarter with 11 different scorers.

Pau Gasol, Xavier Henry and Nick Young each had nine points as the team shot 53.2% from the field and 61.5% from three-point range (8-13).

The Hawks closed the gap to 13 by halftime, led by 11 points from Mike Scott and 10 from Al Horford.

Atlanta shot 45.5% from the field.

Both teams took good care of the ball with four turnovers each.

Lakers 33, Hawks 22 (end of first quarter)

Xavier Henry gave the Lakers' starting lineup a boost, scoring the team's first five points as the Lakers took an 11-point lead after a quarter of play against the Atlanta Hawks.

Nick Young also chipped in five after his demotion to the bench. The Lakers as a team shot 58.3% from the field and 62.5% from three-point range.

The Hawks shot 43.5%, led by Mike Scott off the bench with eight.

Pau Gasol led the Lakers with seven points.

Pregame

The Lakers (1-2) host the Atlanta Hawks (1-1) on Sunday night at Staples Center.

Given how difficult the Lakers' schedule has been this first week, a 2-2 record without Kobe Bryant (Achilles' tendon) would be a strong start to the season.

Coach Mike D'Antoni is still adjusting his rotation.  Xavier Henry has been promoted to starter, moving Nick Young to the bench.

For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Hawks.

ALSO:

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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