After snapping a five-game losing streak with a win over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers were back in action Thursday to Staples Center and hoped to earn a second consecutive win, as they faced the New York Knicks.
Former Lakers guard Derek Fisher returned to a familiar environment for his first road game against the Lakers, but this time as head coach for the Knicks. The Knicks have the worst record in the NBA, 12-51. The team is on a five-game losing streak and 0-12 against Western Conference teams. They have dropped seven on the road.
The first time that both teams met this season in February at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks notched a victory over the Lakers, 92-80. Knicks on the other hand, are playing without all-star Carmelo Anthony, who suffered a season-ending knee surgery.
Jabari Brown, former teammate of Jordan Clarkson in Missouri, who was signed in a 10-day contract from the NBA’s D-League this week, made his debut against the Knicks.
After a scoreless two minutes, Langston Galloway put up a jumper and a three to give the Knicks a 5-2 lead over the Lakers. Jordan Hill put in a jumper, as Lakers led by one with 9:17 to go, 6-5. Both teams continued to shoot on both sides of the court, attempting to take the lead. Hill continued to dominate with five straight points, as Lakers led the Knicks, 13-9. Midway through the first, after a fade away jumper from Jeremy Lin, the Lakers took a six-point lead, 15-9. The Knicks missed shots on their possessions, as Lakers took advantage of it, including a dunk by Tarik Black, as the Lakers gained their largest lead so far in the game of eight, 19-11. Cleanthony Early cut the Knicks deficit to two, 19-17 with a layup. With 3:17 in the first, Brown checked into the game and sunk in one out of two free throws, for his first point as a Laker. Less than two minutes to go, Brown shot his first field goal, as the Lakers led the Knicks, 22-19. Carlos Boozer put in the last shot of the quarter, as the Lakers led by three going into the second.
The Lakers headed into the second up, 28-25, Brown put in back-to-back shots for the Lakers, 32-28. Tim Hardaway got hot from beyond the arc to tie the game at 34. Boozer followed with the three-point play, as the Lakers took back the lead, 37-34. Galloway then knocked in his third consecutive shot, back to a one-point game. Midway through the second, after Galloway knocked in another three, the Lakers trailed, 41-39. With the game tied at 43, Black threw the ball in to take a 45-43 lead. Hardaway answered right back for his fourth three of the game, back to a one-point game, 46-45. Clarkson cut the Lakers deficit to one with the jumper from the middle, 48-47. Less than two minutes left in the half, the Knicks had the lead by four, until Ellington sank in a three, to put the Lakers back down by one, 53-52. The Knicks continued to put up shots and with a layup by Lou Amundson, the Knicks had their largest lead of the game of six, 60-54, to end the half.
The Lakers started hot in the field as Clarkson hit his first three-pointer of the game and Hill knocked in a jumper to cut the Lakers deficit to three. The Lakers continued to struggle both offensively and defensively, as the Lakers trailed, 67-61, with less than seven minutes to play. Midway through the third, Lance Thomas hit a jumper, as the Lakers trailed, 69-62. With many turnovers, the Knicks gained a 12-point lead in a 8-1 run, 75-63, with less than four minutes to play. Lakers are down ten, after a reverse layup by Lin, with 1:45 on the clock. Hardaway once again knocked in a three-pointer to give the Knicks a double-digit lead. Lin had a couple of baskets and put in two free throws to cut the Lakers deficit to six, to end the third.
Larkin and Lin each got layups to go to begin the final period. Brown hit Boozer in transition for a layup, but free throws from Early kept the Knicks ahead by seven. Early was left wide open for another three as the Knicks went back ahead by double-digits. Both teams missed several opportunities to score as the Knicks maintained a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Free throws from the Knicks pushed their lead out to 12 as the Lakers tried to fight back. A jumper from Johnson cut the lead to 10, but the Lakers struggled to get the lead down to single digits. A layup from Hardaway made it a 14 point lead with only three minutes left. Ellington hit a three and a layup from Hill cut the Lakers deficit to eight. A Clarkson three cut the deficit to five with 53 seconds left, but Jason Smith got a layup to basically ice the game with only 32 seconds remaining. Hill hit a surprising three-pointer and Bargniani split free throws to give the Lakers a slight bit of hope. They were unable to do anything with, however and would fall to the Knicks 101-94.
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