If the Atlanta Hawks lose this one to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, it may come down to what Atlanta didn't do late in the first. They had a foul to give with less than a second left and didn't foul a Laker.
Steve Blake drained a 3-pointer to give Los Angeles a 29-25 lead through the first 12 minutes of action at
Staples Center East Philips Arena.
The Lakers fans are in full force at Philips Arena, although reports out of the joint are that Hawks fans have at least made an effort to should them down -- so far. Of course, it doesn't help when your team's owners are so strapped for cash that they are hawking Lakers stuff at the games.
So far, Atlanta has kept Kobe Bryant in check. He had just four points through the first quarter. But Atlanta's honing in on him and the rest of the team is firing at like 64-percent.
The good news is that Atlanta's shots are falling -- for now. Al Horford had nine in the quarter, including a rare 3-pointer. And Zaza Pachulia and Damien Wilkins have been good off of the bench.
However, Atlanta's settling for jumpers penetrating the paint more often than they should be at this point.
One has a feeling that the Hawks are one sustained Lakers run from getting blown out in this game. They're going to have to tighten up the defense and do some dirty work in the post. Otherwise, it's going to be a long night at Philips.