The Lakers looked beaten with six minutes left in the fourth quarter in their battle against the top team in the Eastern Conference, down 16 points to an Atlanta Hawks team missing four starters, but a late surge saw the Lakers close within two points with 30.1 seconds left.
Carlos Boozer hit back-to-back jumpers, followed by a Wesley Johnson three-pointer, to cap off 16-2 run.
With the Lakers needing a stop, Dennis Schroder drove to the basket for a layup. Johnson air-balled a another outside attempt on the next possession, and the Hawks avoided a sweep in the season series by the Lakers with a 91-86 victory on Sunday at Staples Center.
Ryan Kelly's three-pointer with 6.9 seconds left gave the Lakers a last gasp of hope, but Schroder ended the scoring with a pair of free throws.
The Hawks sat out All-Stars Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap, along with DeMarre Carroll, for rest against the struggling Lakers. Kyle Korver, also an All-Star, suffered a broken nose in the second quarter and did not return after 10 scoreless minutes.
In November, the Lakers upset the Hawks in Atlanta, 114-109.
Schroder finished with 24 points and 10 assists. Al Horford scored 21 and had five steals. Shelvin Mack added 18 off the bench, while former Lakers swingman Kent Bazemore scored 13 points and had nine rebounds.
Carlos Boozer, who had seven rebounds, and Ryan Kelly led the Lakers with 13 points apiece off the bench. Ed Davis scored seven with 13 rebounds and four assists.
Jordan Clarkson was the only Lakers starter in double figures with 10 points on four-of-13 shooting. He also pulled down eight rebounds, dished six assists and had only two turnovers, but he fouled out after 31 minutes of play.
Rookie Jabari Brown made four of five shots for nine points in 22 1/2 minutes. On a 10-day contract, Brown is shooting 63.6% from the field over his brief two-game NBA career.
The Lakers shot 40% from the field and 38.9% from three-point range (7 of 18), with 22 turnovers. The Hawks shot 44.7% and 21.7% (5-23) respectively, with 13 miscues.
Atlanta took 27 free throws, making 18 (66.7%), while the Lakers converted 11 of 15 (73.3%).
The Lakers held a 54-34 rebounding advantage, including a 19-7 edge on the offensive glass.
With the loss, the Lakers fall to 17-48. They'll play again on Monday night, visiting the Golden State Warriors (52-13). The Hawks (52-14) also play on Monday, in Sacramento against the Kings (22-43).
Hawks 68, Lakers 58 (end of third quarter)
The Hawks pushed ahead by double-digits in the third quarter, outscoring the Lakers by seven points, 27-20.
Al Horford scored 20 points on 10-of-19 shooting and five steals. Dennis Schroder neared a double-double with 18 points and nine assists.
Shelvin Mack started the second half for Kyle Korver (broken nose), and has 15 points in the game. The Hawks are shooting 47.5% from the field and have nine turnovers.
The Lakers are shooting 36.5% with 18 miscues.
Rookie Jabari Brown leads the Lakers with nine points. Ed Davis only scored two points but collected 10 rebounds in 14 minutes.
Hawks 41, Lakers 38 (halftime)
The Lakers competed in the second quarter, briefly tying the score at 25, although the Hawks finished the half ahead by three points.
Jordan Clarkson leads the Lakers with eight points. Ryan Kelly has scored seven, while Jabari Brown, in only his second NBA game, has six points on three-for-three shooting and a career-high two steals.
The Lakers shot just 31.1% from the field, but managed to hold the Hawks to 18 points in the quarter.
Dennis Schroder leads all scorers with 12 points for the Hawks, who are shooting only 37.5% from teh field. Al Horford and Shelvin Mack have scored 10 for Atlanta.
Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver broke his nose and will not return to the game, going scoreless in 10 minutes.
Hawks 23, Lakers 14 (end of first quarter)
The Hawks held the Lakers to only 27.3% shooting in the first quarter, despite sitting three starters.
Pero Antic started for Paul Millsap at forward, Dennis Schroder for Jeff Teague at point guard and former Lakers swingman Kent Bazemore for DeMarre Carroll forward.
Shelvin Mack led all scorers with eight points off the bench for Atlanta. Al Horford added six.
Wayne Ellington's three points was the high for the struggling Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Hawks shot 40.9% to take a nine-point lead into the second quarter.
The Lakers (17-47) host the top team from the Eastern Conference when the Atlanta Hawks (51-14) visit Staples Center.
Atlanta is without Mike Scott (toe) and Thabo Sefolosha (calf). They'll also rest Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap.
For the Lakers, Nick Young is sidelined with a knee injury while Ronnie Price (elbow), Kobe Bryant (shoulder), Julius Randle (knee) and Steve Nash (back) are all done for the season.
For an in-depth breakdown, check out check out check out Preview: Lakers vs. Atlanta Hawks.