By Adrian Stewart Co
Atlanta Hawks took advantage of the early exit of LeBron James to score a 99-94 upset in the 2020-2021 NBA Season on Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines) at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
John Collins tallied double-double 27 points and season-best 16 rebounds, as Trae Young chipped in 14 points and 11 assists as the Hawks recorded its eighth straight win for 22-20 slate.
Danilo Gallinari also contributed double-figures output with 18 points, built on four three-point conversions, while Bogdan Bogdanovic also had 10 for the Hawks, which is still unbeaten under interim coach Nate McMillan.
James exited for the Lakers in the second period after he rolled on the ground and clutched at his ankle following an awkward contact with Hawks forward Solomon Hill, who was called for a foul.
James managed to stay in the game for a bit and even hit a corner triple to extend his NBA-record streak of games with at least 10 points to 1,036 before calling a timeout and left the court.
In a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, based on the x-ray result , the 36-year-old veteran will be out indefinitely for the Lakers after being diagnosed with high right ankle sprain.
James was the third Lakers starter to went down with an injury after Anthony Davis, who is out until April with a right calf injury, and Marc Gasol, who sat out under the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
The Hawks surged to a 64-55 start in the third quarter behind conversions from Collins and Young. Eight straight points from Gallinari later on prevented the Lakers from coming close heading into the fourth.
Atlanta went on to build its largest lead at 87-73 following a triple by Hill but the Los Angeles made its last push to come to within 92-97 before Young sealed the win for the Hawks with two free throws.
Montrezl Harrell had double-double 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder had 16 points and seven assists for the Lakers, which dropped to 28-14 after the loss.
ATLANTA 99 – Collins 27, Gallinari 18, Young 14, Bogdanovic 10, Hill 9, Capela 8, Huerter 8, Snell 3, Rondo 2, Okongwu 0, Knight 0.
LOS ANGELES 94 – Harrell 23, Schroder 16, Morris 12, James 10, Matthews 9, Horton-Tucker 9, Kuzma 8, Jones 4, Caruso 3, Caldwell-Pope 0, McKinnie 0.
Quarterscores: 28-25, 52-53, 74-65, 99-94./ASC, WDJ