The Los Angeles Lakers continued their road trip on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, although they did so without LeBron James because of his one-game suspension. L.A. did have Anthony Davis, however, despite his questionable tag due to illness.
While the Lakers were looking to build off their last win, they were unable to do so as they fell to the Knicks, 106-100.
Things didn’t get off to the best start for the Lakers as they were sloppy with the ball, leading to a 10-0 start for the Knicks and quick timeout for Frank Vogel.
While the Lakers finally got on the scoreboard out of the time, their defense continued to struggle as the Knicks were able to get a number of easy buckets to take a 20-7 lead.
Malik Monk immediately made his presence known with five quick points off the bench to get the Lakers back within single digits, although Julius Randle responded with five straight of his own to establish the Knicks’ lead once again.
Things got out of hand early as Randle continued his dominance and Evan Fournier could not miss from three, putting the Lakers’ deficit at more than 20 in the first quarter.
Monk had another personal 5-0 run to end the quarter though, and the Lakers trailed 36-20 through one.
In his hometown of New York, Carmelo Anthony got the scoring started in the second quarter with a three, although Randle immediately answered with one of his own.
The Lakers’ defense as a whole continued to struggle in the second with the Knicks knocking down a number of threes to work their lead back above 20.
Davis finally made his presence known offensively in the back half of the second quarter, which was much-needed for the Lakers.
His strong play, along with a timely three from Avery Bradley brought the Lakers back within 12 at the half at 63-51.
The Lakers actually came out looking good in the third quarter for a change as Bradley hit another three and then Russell Westbrook had a breakaway dunk to get L.A. back within seven, forcing a quick Knicks timeout.
The run continued out of the timeout and L.A. even got all the way within three, although Fournier drilled a three to stop the bleeding.
From there it was all Westbrook as he took over with both his scoring and passing, specifically in transition to lead the Lakers all the way back with them tying it at 81, although Obi Toppin dunked one how at the end of the third quarter to give the Knicks an 83-81 lead with one quarter to go. Westbrook had 18 points of his own in the third quarter alone.
The Knicks worked their lead back up to nine early in the fourth after a three by Immanuel Quickley and an acrobatic finish at the rim by Alec Burks. Davis responded with a big three, although Quickley then knocked down two his own to answer, putting the Knicks lead back at double digits.
The Lakers had a couple of last chances to get back in it, although Anthony saw a couple of threes go in and out and the clock ran out on the comeback attempt.
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