The Los Angeles Lakers will look to get back on the winning track when they take on the New York Knicks for the second time in the month of January.
The Lakers took down the Knicks with relative ease in their last meeting despite losing Anthony Davis in the third quarter to a tailbone injury that would hold him out for the next five games. Now that Davis is back, the Lakers are hoping for another good win.
The purple and gold need it after an embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They lost by their largest margin of the season (32 points) and just about everyone struggled to find a rhythm after the first three minutes of the game.
While the Celtics loss doesn’t present a lot of long-term issues, it does show this Lakers team needs to be tougher when opposing teams go on a run, especially when those teams are good.
The Knicks, while not a guaranteed win, do provide the Lakers with an opportunity to get back to winning games before the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Knicks will be without RJ Barrett for this game while Dennis Smith Jr. and Marcus Morris are questionable. Morris is more likely to play than Smith, but the Knicks will be a bit short-handed either way.
Another story from this game is how close LeBron James gets to passing Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. As it stands, James is 65 points behind Bryant, meaning he would need a historic effort to move into third at Madison Square Garden. Bryant is expecting James to pass him any game now and is excited for that to happen. While it most likely won’t happen against the Knicks, it is something to look for.
The Lakers don’t have anyone currently slated to miss this game but with this being the first night of a back-to-back, there could be late scratches from the contest either against the Knicks or the Nets.
The Lakers hope to continue this road trip strong by getting back to winning, especially since they’ve now lost two of their last three. They currently have a four-game lead atop the Western Conference and need wins like this one to maintain that.
Los Angeles Lakers (34-9) vs. New York Knicks (12-32)
4:30 P.M. PT, Jan. 22, 2020
Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: LeBron James
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Danny Green
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso
Projected Knicks Starting Lineup:
PG: Elfrid Payton
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: Marcus Morris
PF: Taj Gibson
C: Julius Randle
Key Reserves: Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina, Bobby Portis, Kevin Knox