The Lakers improved to just 9-9 in Mike D'Antoni's tenure as head coach, but they've won the last five games. In this one, they looked the way they were expected to look, with a healthy big three that included point guard Steve Nash.
Nash had his best game and the Lakers had one of their better efforts. Here's a look at the key stats to know:
1-- Bryant broke the NBA record for most career points scored on Dec. 25, passing Oscar Robertson. Bryant had his ninth straight game with at least 30 points, tied for the second-longest streak in his NBA career. He’s the first player with a nine-game streak since Amar’e Stoudemire had one for the Knicks two seasons ago.
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Bryant was 8-for-8 on shots taken in the paint, a significant improvement from the meeting with the Knicks two weeks ago at Madison Square Garden. He was 3-for-8 on shots in the paint in that game.
Bryant improved to 24-13 in head-to-head matchups against Carmelo Anthony, combining the regular season and postseason.
2-- Nash had a season-high 11 assists for the Lakers. Mike D’Antoni improved to 230-83 (.735) as a head coach in games in which Nash played for his team, compared to 167-265 when Nash didn’t play (.387 winning percentage).
Six of Nash's 11 assists came on baskets inside the restricted area, matching his total for his previous three games this season combined.
3-- Led by Bryant’s dominance inside, the Lakers outscored the Knicks in the paint, 46-26. In the two games against the Knicks, they outscored them 80-58 in the paint. The Lakers shot 61 percent in the paint in this game, compared to just 42 percent for the Knicks. The Knicks were 10-for-23 on shots taken from inside five feet.
The Knicks were hurt by Raymond Felton's 4-for-12 shooting in the paint. Felton is now shooting 45 percent in the paint this season.
4-- The Knicks lost despite committing only 11 turnovers, which is unusual for them. They are 16-2 this season in games in which they commit 11 turnovers or fewer. They also dropped to 3-3 in games in which Carmelo Anthony has scored 34 points or more.
5-- Our "Stat of the Game", courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau: This was the third matchup of the NBA’s top two scorers to take place on Dec. 25.
The No. 1 scorer was on the losing end (Tiny Archibald for the 1972-73 Kansas City-Omaha Kings and Pete Maravich for the 1977-78 New Orleans Jazz) in both of those games.
But in this contest, the No. 1 scorer topped the No. 2.