The Los Angeles Lakers lost a thriller Sunday night at Staples Center to the New York Knicks thanks to a last second three-pointer by Jose Calderon. The Lakers and Knicks will not be making the playoffs this season, but the game was closely contested and the Lakers fell just short of another victory.
It was Kobe Bryant’s final game against the Knicks, but it was Calderon that stole the spotlight. Bryant played just shy of 27 minutes on the night and he tallied up 14 points to go along with two rebounds. Head coach Byron Scott did not rely all that much on his starting lineup, especially the young stars who have played very well as of late.
After the loss, Scott spoke to the media and defended his decision on benching the young players in the fourth quarter, via Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
BScott on why he didn't go back to young core in 4th Q: "They’ve had enough experience doing that so far." Liked how 2nd unit was playing
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 14, 2016
D’Angelo Russell, who has been very productive as a starter, played only 21 minutes in the loss to the Knicks. Despite playing the best basketball of his career, Scott once again went with the veteran players down the stretch over the rookie. Russell finished the night with just four points, two rebounds and two assists.
As for Julius Randle, he is just one of the few players in the league averaging a double-double, but Scott went with Brandon Bass and Larry Nance Jr. instead. Randle played just 22 minutes and as a result, he only grabbed eight rebounds to go with his seven points.