Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tries to drive against Hawks center Al Horford… (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )
Hawks 96, Lakers 92 (final)
The short-handed Hawks held on to beat the Lakers, 96-92, on Wednesday night in Atlanta.
Playing without Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams, the Hawks pulled ahead by double digits early.
Kobe Bryant had a monster third quarter, scoring 20 of his 31 points, but missed on a crucial baseline fadeaway with 3.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter with the Lakers down two. On the play, Bryant came down awkwardly after his shot, twisting an ankle and leaving the game with what appeared to be a sprain.
Kyle Korver hit a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds left to close out the Hawks' victory, which ended a four-game winning streak by the Lakers.
Atlanta was led by Devin Harris, who scored nine of his 17 points in a key fourth-quarter stretch that recaptured the lead for the Hawks.
Metta World Peace had 20 points as the Lakers shot 39.1% from the field. Dwight Howard had a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds but was in foul trouble for much of his 38 minutes.
The Hawks, who had six players in double figures, shot 46.8% from the field.
The Lakers' record dips to 34-32 with a visit to Indiana scheduled for Friday night. Atlanta improved to 35-29.
Hawks 76, Lakers 74 (end of third quarter)
Kobe Bryant found his touch in the third quarter, lighting up the Hawks for 20 points.
Bryant had three points on one-of-eight shooting in the first half. After three quarters, he has 23 points on nine-of-24 shooting, making eight of 16 in the third quarter.
The Lakers briefly took the lead after falling behind by 14 but the Hawks finished the quarter with the lead.
Metta World Peace had 16 points for the Lakers, who have shot 44.8% from the field as a team. Dwight Howard, who played much of the third quarter with four fouls, has 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Hawks, who were led by Al Horford with 14 points, are shooting 49.2% as a team.
The Lakers turned the ball over just five times in the first three quarters.
Hawks 55, Lakers 43 (halftime)
The Hawks added to their lead in the second quarter, going ahead by as many as 13 points over the Lakers.
Atlanta had seven players with six or more points, led by Al Horford, Johan Petro and John Jenkins with eight apiece.
The Lakers, who shot 40.5% from the field, have been led by Metta World Peace with 12 points.
Kobe Bryant didn't score his first points until 21 minutes into the game, missing seven of eight shots.
Atlanta shot 52.3% from the field to help take a 12-point lead into the second half.
Hawks 26, Lakers 19 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers let an early lead fade when center Dwight Howard got into foul trouble four minutes into their game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Atlanta scored eight consecutive points to turn a five-point deficit into a three-point lead.
The Lakers shot 34.8% from the field, playing against a short-handed Hawks team without All-Star forward Josh Smith, center Zaza Pachulia, point guard Jeff Teague and guard Lou Williams.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace led all scorers with eight points.
The Hawks were led by Kyle Korver with seven points while shooting 54.5% as a team. Anthony Tolliver, Dahntay Jones, Johan Petro and Devin Harris served as replacement starters.
The Lakers (34-31) visit the Atlanta Hawks (34-29) on Wednesday evening, with both teams playing their second games on back-to-back nights.
It took a last-second shot from Kobe Bryant for the Lakers to beat the Hawks earlier this season at Staples Center.
Atlanta will be short-handed without center Zaza Pachulia (sore Achilles' tendon) and point guard Jeff Teague (sprained ankle). Power forward Josh Smith (sore knee) will be a game-time decision.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Hawks.
Hack-a-Howard backfires as Lakers top Magic, 106-97
Dwight Howard needs Kobe Bryant to keep pushing him
Pau Gasol progresses toward return, could be back next week
Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.