Sunday, January 26, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 110, Lakers 103
By Dave McMenamin
NEW YORK -- Before Carmelo Anthony's encore performance of his Madison Square Garden-record 62-point game even tipped off, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni conceded that it could be another special night for Melo.
"He’s going to score," D'Antoni said. "It doesn’t matter. That’s what he does. He’s going to score. Got to try to keep everybody else out of the flow and hope he doesn’t have a great game, but you know, he could. We’ll have to keep scoring at a good rate to keep pressure on him and see if we can get a win."
D'Antoni was right about the Anthony scoring part, as the Knicks forward dropped in 35 to give him 97 in his past two games, but wasn't so accurate on the Lakers winning part.
How it happened: The Lakers trailed by four at the half, with Anthony going off for 20 points in the first two quarters, but Jodie Meeks kept L.A. in it with 16 points in the third quarter alone, going 4-for-4 from 3-point land. The Lakers looked to another unlikely hero, Manny Harris, in the fourth quarter. Harris, fresh off signing a new 10-day contract with the team Sunday morning, scored 11 of his 18 points in the final frame. The Knicks led by three late in the fourth quarter before Anthony scored on consecutive buckets -- a smooth pull-up jumper over L.A. rookie Ryan Kelly and a crossover-aided layup -- to give New York a 105-98 edge with 2:30 to go. The Knicks kept that cushion in the final score.
What it means: The Lakers are, in a word, terrible. They have now lost 16 of their past 19 games and ended their seven-game Grammy road trip with a 2-5 record, including a four-game losing streak to end it. They will start to get their five injured guards back in the lineup over the next several weeks, but it's hard to see any of those guys, even Kobe Bryant, immediately turning this team around.
Hits:Pau Gasol had another big night with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Meeks finished with 24 points, going 6-for-8 from 3.
The Lakers shot 11-for-23 from 3 as a team (47.8 percent).
Misses: L.A. was outrebounded 45 to 35.
Stat of the game: 4. That's how many players, other than Anthony, scored 13 or more points for the Knicks. The Lakers could have dealt with Anthony going off, but not Raymond Felton (20 points), Tim Hardaway Jr. (18), J.R. Smith (16) and Tyson Chandler (13), too.
Up next: The Lakers will return to L.A. on Sunday night and practice Monday, hoping for the return of Steve Nash. Then they host one of the league's hottest teams in the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, followed by the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday.