With Bryant sidelined by a sprained right ankle, Atkins has almost doubled his scoring and assists in the four games since Bryant went out, averaging 22.2 points and 7.8 assists to help the Lakers go 3-1.
Atkins scored 26 points and had 10 assists Friday night to lead Los Angeles to a 105-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
“I don’t have an explanation for it. I have constantly been in attack mode,” said Atkins, acquired from Boston in the offseason trade that sent Gary Payton to the Celtics.
“Every team I’ve been on, I have pretty much done the same things. I am just getting more minutes now.”
Atkins, who was 4-of-11 from 3-point range Friday, has impressed Los Angeles coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
“Chucky again was just tremendous,” Tomjanovich said. “He’s just become a great, great penetrator and finisher to set up his outside game. His outside game has been fantastic.”
Bryant is off crutches, but has not set a deadline for his return. When asked if he might be back for the Feb. 3 game against San Antonio, Bryant said, “That will be a fun one. Hopefully, I’ll have a couple of games under my belt.”
Los Angeles has won five straight at home over Seattle since a 104-93 defeat on Dec. 11, 2001, and is facing a Sonics team that has dropped its last three road contests.
Seattle snapped a two-game losing skid on Sunday with a 122-105 win over the Utah Jazz.
Lewis had a solid game, answering every time Seattle needed him. Utah got within 109-101 with 3:39 to play, but Lewis hit a 3-pointer and made a steal before swishing another 3-pointer that put the Sonics ahead 115-103 with 2:20 left.
“What can you say? Rashard was just being Rashard,” Seattle center Jerome James said. “When he’s going like that, there’s not too many people in this league that can guard him.”
Seattle beat Los Angeles 108-93 in the first meeting this season, but the Lakers have won eight of the last 13 in the series.