Hawks pounce on James’ injury, nip Lakers

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    BIG MEN BATTLE: Hawks center Clint Capela and Lakers counterpart Montrezl Harrell fight for a rebound in second half play. REUTERS PHOTO

    THE Atlanta Hawks earned their eighth win in a row Saturday (Sunday in Manila), a 99-94 road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, snapping LA’s four-game winning streak and keeping the longest winning streak currently in the NBA alive in the process.

    However, the story of the day was an injury to Lakers superstar LeBron James, who suffered what the team later termed a high right ankle sprain when he tangled with Hawks forward Solomon Hill early in the second quarter. After staying in the game briefly and draining a 3-pointer, James left for the locker room shortly afterward.

    Los Angeles already has two starters on the bench with All-Star Anthony Davis out due to a right calf strain and Marc Gasol working himself back into game shape after missing six games due to the NBA’s healthy and safety protocols.

    Meanwhile, Atlanta’s leading scorer Trae Young had trouble finding easy buckets but did a swift job running his team, finishing with 14 points and 11 assists, despite shooting 6-for-18. John Collins paced the Hawks with 27 points and 16 rebounds.

    In other games, it was the Bucks 120, Spurs 113; Sixers 129, Kings 105; Grizzlies 111, Warriors 103; and Clippers 125, Hornets 98.

    Bucks 120, Spurs 113

    Giannis Antetokounmpo had a quiet 26 points to lead seven players in double figures as host Milwaukee outlasted San Antonio for its sixth straight win.

    Antetokounmpo tied a career high by dishing a season-high 15 assists and added eight rebounds. Milwaukee has won 11 of 12, including all five of their games since the All-Star break.

    Khris Middleton added 23 for the Bucks, with Jrue Holiday scoring 21. Lonnie Walker IV scored a career-high 31 points to pace the Spurs, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. DeMar DeRozan added 22 points and a season-high 13 assists.

    Sixers 129, Kings 105

    Tobias Harris had 29 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and host Philadelphia breezed past Sacramento.

    Shake Milton added 28 points and Danny Green had 18 for the short-handed Sixers, who played without starters Joel Embiid (bone bruise on left knee) and Seth Curry, out with a sprained left ankle. Then shortly before tip-off, Sixers point guard Ben Simmons was scratched with left knee soreness.

    Buddy Hield led the Kings with 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, while De’Aaron Fox added 16. Harrison Barnes contributed 12 and Tyrese Haliburton had 11.