The Los Angeles Lakers take another swipe at reaching the .500 mark when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. The Lakers haven't been at .500 since late December and reaching the break-even mark is the first barrier they need to knock down as they chase down a Western Conference playoff berth. Atlanta is locked in a tight battle with the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls for the fourth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.The Hawks had won five straight road games before falling to the Phoenix Suns on Friday. Atlanta has won six of its last eight games but losing to lowly Phoenix was irritating. "We just didn't focus for whatever reason," swingman Kyle Korver said. "We wanted things kind of easy. When you do that in the NBA, you are going to get beat." Los Angeles is ninth in the Western Conference and stands 2 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the final playoff spot in the West. The Lakers have gotten back in contention by winning 12 of their last 17 games, including a 116-94 drubbing of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Atlanta), Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Los Angeles)ABOUT THE HAWKS (33-24): Center Al Horford has fueled Atlanta's recent success with eight straight 20-point outings, the best stretch of his stellar career. Horford is averaging 24.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and shooting 65.9 percent from the field during the span, recording five double-doubles and shooting over 60 percent in six of the eight games. Horford had a career-best 34 points against Utah on Feb. 27 before scoring 20 in the loss to the Suns. He is averaging 17.2 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Josh Smith struggled with five points on 2-of-11 shooting against Phoenix and also committed five turnovers.ABOUT THE LAKERS (29-30): Kobe Bryant's role as a distributor is over as he has turned his attention back to scoring and is averaging 35 points over the past four games. Bryant began the stretch with a 40-point outing against Portland and continued it with 33 points in the win over the Timberwolves. "I've been in attack mode since the (All-Star) break," Bryant said afterward. "It's go time." He is shooting 59.6 percent from the field and has twice made four 3-pointers in a game during the hot stretch. The long-range shooting follows a stretch in which Bryant was just 1-of-34 from behind the arc over a 15-game span. Overall, the 17-year veteran is averaging 27.2 points. "He's as every bit of good as he's ever been," point guard Steve Nash said of Bryant's torrid play.BUZZER BEATERS 1. Los Angeles has won the last three meetings.2. Atlanta G Devin Harris has scored in double digits in five straight games and is averaging 13.2 points during the stretch.3. The Lakers made 16 3-pointers against the Timberwolves, one shy of the franchise mark for most 3-pointers in a regulation contest.PREDICTION: Lakers 103, Hawks 99.