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Birthday boy LeBron James has season-high 47, Lakers top Hawks

Dec 30, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James celebrated his 38th birthday by scoring a season-high 47 points to help the visiting Los Angeles Lakers erase a 15-point deficit and beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-121 on Friday.

James made a season-high 18 field goals and was 4-for-6 on 3-pointers with 10 rebounds and nine assists to fall just short of his first triple-double of the season. James had a 3-pointer and a three-point play in the fourth quarter after the Hawks had cut the lead to one point.

Los Angeles also got 19 points and a season-high 17 rebounds from Thomas Bryant, 14 points and 11 assists from Russell Westbrook and 12 points and nine assists from Dennis Schroder. The Lakers were without Lonnie Walker IV (tailbone contusion).

Trae Young, who missed a game with a left calf contusion, returned and led the team with 29 points and eight assists. Dejounte Murray added 20 points and nine assists and Onyeka Okongwu had 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. It was the third straight loss for the Hawks.

The Hawks played without two starters — leading rebounder Clint Capela (right calf strain) and De’Andre Hunter (left ankle sprain).

Young scored 13 points and James scored only two in the first quarter, which the Hawks led 33-23. Young took a hard landing on his back at the end of the quarter and was taken to the locker room for treatment, but he returned early in the second quarter.

Atlanta led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, but the Lakers — sparked by 15 points from James — cut the lead to 67-62 at halftime.

When Atlanta’s interior players got in foul trouble, the Lakers surged ahead and took an 82-81 lead on a drive by James, who scored 13 in the third. Los Angeles led 98-95 entering the final quarter.

Los Angeles will complete its five-game road trip on Monday in Charlotte. Atlanta begins a four-game West Coast road trip on Monday at Golden State.

–Field Level Media