Young’s 36 Points Help Streaking Hawks Top Lakers 129–121

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
January 30, 2022Updated: January 30, 2022

ATLANTA—Trae Young believes a defensive revival has the Atlanta Hawks back on track. That defense finally showed up in the final quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Young had 36 points and 12 assists, and the Hawks earned their seventh straight win by rallying to beat the Lakers 129-121 on Sunday.

The Hawks outscored Los Angeles 38-20 in the final period, when Young scored 13 points.

“If our mindset is right we get stops on the defensive end … I think we have a good chance of winning any night,” Young said.

Onyeka Okongwu scored 12 of his 16 points in the final period, when he helped hold Anthony Davis to five of his 27 points.

Malik Monk led Los Angeles with 33 points in the Lakers’ third consecutive loss, all without LeBron James.

Epoch Times Photo
Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Monk, left, shoots a 3-point basket over Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Atlanta on Jan. 30, 2022. (Hakim Wright Sr./AP Photo)

James was not with the team due to continued swelling in his left knee. He returned to Los Angeles for treatment.

The Hawks (24-25) matched their longest win streak of the season by charging back after trailing 101-91 entering the fourth quarter. The Lakers scored a season-high 71 points in the first half while making 71.4 percent of their shots from the field, but they couldn’t continue the hot shooting in the final period.

Davis helped power the Lakers’ strong start with 18 first-half points in his return after missing one game with a sore right wrist.

Monk’s eighth 3-pointer tied it at 121. De’Andre Hunter made one of two free throws for Atlanta before Young rattled in a 3-pointer for a four-point lead.

Young stretched the lead by making two free throws with 25 seconds remaining.

Entering Sunday’s games, the Hawks were 10th in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta, which lost to Milwaukee in last season’s Eastern Conference final, was 12th before the winning streak.

The Lakers (24-27), who were ninth in the Western Conference, fell a season-low three games below .500.

“We’re not in the position we want to be right now but that’s OK,” said Russell Westbrook, who had 20 points and 12 assists. “We know what we need to do as a team. Just find a way to get over the hump and close games out.”

Monk was on target in his return after missing one game with soreness in his left groin. Monk went 4 for 5 from 3-point range in the first half and 8 for 14 from deep for the game. His last-second 3 capped a 10-2 run to close the half, sending the Lakers into the break with a 71-62 lead.

Monk set a season high by scoring 29 points in the Lakers’ 134-118 home win over the Hawks on Jan. 7. Monk again feasted on Atlanta’s defense to set a new high mark for the season.

Up next, the Lakers host Portland on Wednesday night and the Hawks host Toronto on Monday night.

By Charles Odum