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Lakers At Hawks Score: Bryant, Lakers Lead Hawks 81-65 Through Three

Andrew Bynum continued to grab rebound after rebound after rebound and Kobe Bryant keeps on knocking them down. The Atlanta Hawks? They've settled for jump shots. We all know how that kind of game ends up.

Bryant posted 20 points and Bynum and Lamar Odom have 12 each to give the Los Angeles Lakers to an 81-65 lead over the Hawks on Tuesday night at Philips Arena.

It's hard enough to beat the Lakers on a regular night. It's even tougher when the refs are whistling phantom foul calls on Bryant and calling goaltending on a dunk. But when you don't play the game the way the game is designed to be played, your chances of winning are about as good as the prospects of no gold-and-purple Kobe fans showing up at the Highlight Factory.

That's simply not going to happen.

Yes, the Lakers have an imposing front line. But the Hawks, once again, are allergic to driving the lane. They'd rather kick it out to the arc and take their chances with low percentage 3-pointers.

Atlanta is shooting just 39-percent (24-for-61) from the field in the contest and had just 16 points in the third frame. How bad was it for Atlanta? Josh Smith got rejected by Kobe and Atlanta's "Big Three" of Smith, Al Horford and Joe Johnson combined for a whopping two points for the whole quarter.

That's not going to get the job done.

Horford has 13 for Atlanta and Smith and Johnson 11 each for Atlanta, which has lost three straight games.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.