Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/29

Game 1: Tuesday, January 29th
Game 2: Friday, February 15th

Lakers 127

(30-12, 12-8 away)

Hawks 93

(14-30, 10-12 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, January 29, 2002

    Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 32 36 34 25127
    ATL 20 21 28 2493

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: K. Bryant 32 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast

    Atlanta: S. Abdur-Rahim 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Bryant's 20-point first quarter highlights rout

    ATLANTA (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers were fed up with losing to lesser teams. They took out their frustrations on the Atlanta Hawks.

    Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 32 points in the first quarter.

    Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 32 points in the first quarter and Los Angeles routed the Hawks 127-93 on Tuesday night.

    "We were aware of who we were playing tonight," Rick Fox said. "We can't continue the spirit of giving."

    The defending NBA champions halted a mini-slump in which they had dropped three of four games, starting with a 16-point home loss to woeful Denver.

    Despite a 30-12 record, the Lakers have lost to all four last-place teams since Dec. 21. They reversed that trend with a dominating performance against the league's worst defensive squad.

    "We had such a good rhythm, we didn't have to execute," Bryant said.

    Los Angeles had a season high in points, racing to a 68-41 lead at halftime and reaching triple digits on Derek Fisher's layup with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter.

    Bryant was unstoppable in the opening period as the Hawks tried to guard him with Jason Terry, who is 5 inches shorter. Wowing the sellout crowd with spins and head fakes, Bryant hit 10-of-12 shots to give the Lakers to a 32-20 lead.

    "They had a little guard on me," he said. "I made it a point to post up and be a little more aggressive."

    Terry felt helpless against Bryant.

    "They came out and showed they weren't going to let up," Terry said. "I had my best defense on, but that wasn't enough. He had his best offense on."

    Bryant had as many points in the first as the entire Hawks team. He eclipsed Michael Jordan's 18-point performance on Dec. 19, which had been the previous high surrendered by Atlanta in a quarter.

    Shaquille O'Neal added 23 points and Fisher 20 for the Lakers, who shot a staggering 57.5 percent (50-of-87) from the field -- and that included a 10-of-24 performance in the fourth quarter.

    The Hawks trailed by at least 20 points for the final 32 minutes and fell behind by as many as 40 late in the game.

    "A lot of times we get a couple of leads and relax a little bit," Bryant said. "Tonight, we just wanted to keep going at it."

    The score really could have gotten out of hand if not for the compassion of Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Bryant played only 15 minutes after going the entire first quarter, and O'Neal was on the court for just 26 minutes.

    Five reserves played at least 17 minutes apiece, led by Fisher's team-high 30 minutes.

    "I had to sit Kobe down," Jackson said. "He was going to town."

    A year ago, the Hawks pulled off a thrilling 108-106 victory over the Lakers at Philips Arena, one of the few bright spots in a dismal season. Los Angeles was focused on payback.

    "We remembered the game from last year, no doubt about it," Jackson said.

    The Hawks shot just 41.8 percent (41-of-98). Shareef Abdur-Rahim, named to his first All-Star team earlier in the day, was about the only bright spot with 21 points.

    The Hawks, who were allowing 100.8 points per game, managed one moral victory: They didn't eclipse their previous high for points surrendered, a 129-94 loss to Orlando last month.

    "When you lose like that, nobody's doing what he's supposed to do," Abdur-Rahim said. "They came in and did what they wanted to do."

    Game notes
    The Lakers' previous season high for points was 121 in a victory at Detroit on Jan. 8. ... The Hawks had just their second sellout (19,742) of the season, most of them cheering for the Lakers. "It was bad that the whole city was cheering for them," Abdur-Rahim said. The other sellout at Philips Arena came in Atlanta's home opener against Jordan and the Wizards. ... As usual, the stars came out with the Lakers in town. "Rush Hour" star Chris Tucker was sitting at courtside, and boxing champion Vernon Forrest, fresh off his upset victory over Shane Mosley, stopped by the press table at halftime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 127 93
    FGM-FGA 50-87 (.575) 41-98 (.418)
    3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 4-7 (.571)
    FTM-FTA 20-24 (.833) 7-12 (.583)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-55 18-38
    Assists 26 24
    Turnovers 19 16
    Steals 10 12
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 20 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 21 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 32
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 21
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1