Knicks hold off LeBron-less Lakers, 106-100
Both teams missed their best players. The Lakers played without LeBron James, who got a one game suspension following the altercation in Detroit with Isaiah Stewart, the Knicks were without Derrick Rose, sidelined due to an ankle injury.
The Knicks controlled the start of the game with a 10-0 run from the tip-off, then built a 21 point lead towards the end of the first quarter. All starters made most of their field goals, shooting over 50%.
Evan Fournier, who finished with 26 points, scored 11 of them in the first quarter. Julius Randle dropped 10 buckets in the first which counted for half of his total points. Even the struggling RJ Barrett shot 3-4, all from behind the arc.
The lead was extended to 25 points in the second quarter but the Lakers managed to cut it to a dozen by halftime. And by the time the Knicks scored their first points in the second half the Lakers were already trailing by just three. With less then a minute left in the third they tied the game.
The Knicks, however, never trailed throughout the contest. When things got messy, it was Immanuel Quickley who came up big off the bench. Quickley, who finished with 14 points, made all of his field goals from long distance during the final act.
When former Knick, Carmelo Anthony, made a three pointer early in the fourth to cut the lead 85-84, it was Quickley with the reply. He had three more successful attempts in the next five minutes and when he stopped making them, the Knicks stopped scoring. His last three pointer, that put the Knicks up 105-93, came with 5 minutes left to play. From that moment on it was all Lakers, but they were unable to pose a serious threat for the Knicks’ defense and the final score was 106-100.
“Whether the shot is falling or not, you just want to continue to keep shooting, make the right play, continue to defend. They scored like 19 points in the fourth quarter, so that’s what we’re going to do — let our defense lead into our offense and that’s what we did.”
– Immanuel Quickley
Randle finished in double double with 20 points and 16 rebounds and sat for the most part in the fourth quarter. Barrett finished with 12 buckets while Alec Burks and Obi Toppin scored 12 points off the bench each.
The Lakers were led by Russell Westbrook, who logged a triple-double with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Anthony Davis finished with 20 points and Carmelo Anthony added 12 off the bench. Melo struggled from behind the arc shooting just 2-8.
The Knicks committed 17 turnovers that cost them 22 points. Their opponents allowed just 17 buckets from 12 turnovers. But the Knicks simply shot the ball better. They were 45.1% from the field and 44.1% from the three. The Lakers on the other hand shot under 38%.
Up-next: The Knicks (10-8) will host the Suns (14-3) on Friday from 7:00pm.