--Eight of the Hawks' 20 turnovers came in that third quarter, when the Lakers' lead stretched from two points minutes after halftime to 22 points by the end of the quarter. The Hawks' turnover tally for the night produced an early Christmas present for a stacked Lakers team that doesn't need any more gifts. Al Horford, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford and Zaza Pachulia shared in the fun, each of them committing two turnovers during that jaw-dropping stretch of frustration. "Playing a great team like the Lakers, you can't give them opportunities like that," Horford said. "They're going to punish you. We have to focus on the defensive end. We have enough scorers that we're going to score the ball. We're a little too worried about our offense. If you look at any of the great teams that win championships, they do it with defense. If we want to get on that level, we have to start worrying about our defense."
--The Hawks didn't show any real fight until rookie point guard Jeff Teague came in for Mike Bibby in the fourth quarter. With Teague directing traffic the Hawks cut the Lakers' lead to 112-102 with a little more than three minutes to play. He scored all 12 of his points in the fourth and had two steals and two assists.
But the Hawks couldn't sustain the momentum the rookie provided, giving up back-to-back baskets and two free throws from Andrew Bynum as the Lakers pushed the lead to 118-102 with a little more than two minutes left.
"I just tried to come in and be a spark," said Teague, whose dunk over Lamar Odom ranks as one of the Hawks few highlights in the second half. "It started on the defensive end and in transition. We had an opportunity to come back and make it a game. But they got some put backs and run outs and that hurt us. It's our first road test of the season and we hit that wall. And they came to play, they are the world champs. So we just have get over this and get ready for Portland on Tuesday."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "So far that's been our first bit of adversity of the season. We have to get better at handling it. And we'll get better, that's for sure. Keep in mind that they are the world champs. They've been in those tough situations a million times. I'm sure they didn't handle it as well the first time like they do now. We just have to continue to get better and continue to hang in there for each other." -- Jamal Crawford on the Hawks' fragile state of mind after a loss.
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