For many reasons, last week was difficult for the Lakers. They gave themselves an emotional boost with a win just before heading on the road for a four-game trip that includes a pair of back-to-backs.
Here are five takeaways from their win over the Atlanta Hawks.
1. The Lakers missed Nick Young, who returned to the lineup on Sunday after recovering from a sprained toe. Part of their second-quarter surge was keyed by Young’s 12 points during that period. He had 15 points at halftime and finished with 17 as Lakers Coach Luke Walton stuck with his second unit for much of the fourth quarter. Young also had a sweet quote about Chick Hearn, whose 100th birthday would have been Sunday: “I always wanted him to say my name when I was young, but I never got the chance.”
2. Despite not being able to contribute on the court, D’Angelo Russell was active from the bench supporting teammates. He also seemed to be in good spirits pregame as he joked with reporters in the locker room that he’d been cleared to play. Russell will travel with the team this week but is not expected to be back on the court during the trip.
3. The good news for the Lakers is Julius Randle should be able to return during this trip, Walton said.
4. Thomas Robinson seemed to have an infectious energy. He had a solid nine points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes 27 seconds. When the Lakers were missing Randle and Young, Walton noted they were without two energetic guys in their starting lineup. Seems like Robinson filled that role well.
5. Lakers fans really, really hate Dwight Howard.