Game Recap: Defensive Struggles Continue To Plague Lakers In Loss To Knicks
Coming off a frustrating loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers took on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on the last game of their annual Grammy trip. They are 2-4 on the trip thus far and are trying to earn a victory before heading home to take on the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. For the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony is coming off a record-breaking 62 points at MSG and will be looking for more.
The game began slow with the teams exchanging baskets, as Pau Gasol led the Lakers with their first six points of the game. Wesley Johnson had a highlight-reel slam dunk that kept the Lakers close. Defensively, the Lakers struggled to contain Anthony who had nine points in the first nine minutes. Gasol continued to pace the offense with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. The Lakers took the lead with just over a minute left in the quarter after a 7-0 run. At the end of the first, the Lakers led 25-22.
Coming out the break, the Laker offense was effective increasing their lead to 32-26 with most of the reserves in. Manny Harris, fresh off a new 10-day contract, had seven points on 2-of-3 shooting early in the second. Baskets were hard to come by as both teams had scored just 10 points apiece with just over five minutes left in the half. The Knicks took the lead at 45-44 on an Iman Shumpert three-pointer. At the end of the first half, the Lakers trail the Knicks 51-47.
Two minutes into the quarter, the Lakers took the lead on Jodie Meeks’ free throws and traded baskets early in the third. Consecutive three-pointers by Ryan Kelly and Meeks followed by Gasol free throws gave the Lakers 70-69 lead midway through the quarter. A strong shooting performance by Meeks led the way for the offense and was up to 24 points, including six three-pointers. After three quarters, the Lakers headed into the fourth down 83-81.
Bad defensive play to start the final quarter allowed the Knicks to increase their lead to 88-83. Harris took over for the Lakers and helped them keep it close with a season-high 18 points. The Lakers lack of defense in the lane allowed the Knicks to score at will and maintain their lead throughout the quarter. With three and a half minutes, the Lakers found themselves down just three points. Anthony followed up his record-breaking performance with 35 points through 46 minutes to push the Knicks lead to 105-98. The Lakers could not overcome the deficit and fell to the Knicks, 110-103.