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Bryant leads struggling Lakers past Hawks 114-109

ATLANTA (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and the Los Angeles Lakers won for only the second time this season, beating the Atlanta Hawks 114-109 Tuesday night.

Bryant’s biggest shot came with 1:11 remaining, when he backed in against Thabo Sefolosha and made a fadeaway jumper despite being fouled. Bryant slapped hands with a fan on the front row and completed the three-point play, giving the Lakers a 108-102 lead.

The Hawks had a chance to force overtime after the Lakers (2-9) failed to put it away at the line. But Los Angeles smothered long-range threat Kyle Korver, leaving Pero Antic to take an open 3-pointer. It clanked off the rim and the Lakers gobbled up the loose ball to seal the victory.

Paul Millsap led Atlanta with 29 points.

Carlos Boozer added 20 points for the Lakers, and Nick Young, coming back from a thumb injury, had 17 in his first game of the season.

Jeff Teague scored 23 for the Hawks, who lost for the first time at home.

In the first half, the Lakers hardly looked like a team that had lost nine of its first 10 games, putting up a season high for points in a half while racing to a 67-52 lead. Bryant scored 19 points and Boozer chipped in with 18, including a tip-in just ahead of the halftime buzzer.

Los Angeles shot 61 percent (27 of 44) from the field and outrebounded the Hawks 22-15, leading to a 10-3 edge in second-chance points.

The Hawks started the second half with a 13-0 run but never could come all the way back from the big deficit. Down the stretch, the Lakers made enough plays to snap a four-game losing streak.

Even after Bryant missed a wild one from the corner, Jordan Hill snatched away the offensive rebound and laid it back in to put Los Angeles ahead 111-106 with 17.7 seconds remaining.

The only thing that gave Atlanta hope was the Lakers’ woes at the foul line. They missed three of five during a stretch in the closing seconds.

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TIP-INS

Lakers: Young missed the first 10 games while he recovered from a torn ligament in his left thumb. … The Lakers’ biggest lead was 17 points. … Coach Byron Scott said he exchanged messages with Steve Nash and expects the 40-year-old to join the team soon in a mentoring role. Nash is out for the season with a back injury. … Wayne Ellington missed his fifth straight game since the death of his father, who was fatally shot on Nov. 9. According to Scott, Ellington could rejoin the team for its game Friday at Dallas, which wraps up a three-game road trip.

Hawks: Atlanta dropped to 4-1 at Philips Arena. … DeMarre Carroll missed his fourth straight game with a strained groin. … Antic finished 2 of 9 from the field, while reserve Mike Scott was 3 of 11.

UP NEXT

Lakers: At Houston on Wednesday.

Hawks: Host Detroit on Friday.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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