NEW YORK (AP) -- In his 35-plus seasons as an NBA player and
coach, Don Chaney could not recall a free throw discrepancy quite
like this one.
Karl Malone was one of three Lakers to make more free throws
than the Knicks attempted, helping Los Angeles end its three-game
road losing streak with a 104-83 victory over New York on Wednesday
The Lakers had a whopping 47-6 edge in free throw attempts in a
game that featured 53 fouls -- 34 on the Knicks.
"That's a glaring thing right there, that was huge," Chaney
said. "To me, that stat stands out more than anything else."
Malone had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Shaquille O'Neal had 23
points and Kobe Bryant added 21 as the Lakers won with ease against
a Knicks team that was short-handed to begin with -- Keith Van Horn
sat out with a sprained ankle -- and was further depleted by the
referees' frequent whistles.
The Lakers were 37-for-47 from the line, while New York was
"I don't know if the rules have changed, but I'm very surprised
at the way the game was called," Mutombo said. "Some of the fouls
I've seen them let it go before, and today they were calling every
bump. I don't know, maybe I have to go read the rule book again."
Houston had three fouls before the first quarter ended, but
Frank Williams did a nice job filling in by scoring 10 points in
the second quarter as New York trailed just 51-49 at halftime.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson was angry with his team in the first
half over its shot selection, just as he was a night before when
the Lakers played poorly throughout the second half of a loss at
"We've been playing pretty poorly on the road," Bryant said.
"It was important for us to come out and get a victory here."
The Lakers righted themselves in the third quarter, beginning to
pull away after Thomas picked up his fourth foul just 1:49 into the
period along with a technical foul for complaining.
Two free throws by Gary Payton completed a 20-8 run and gave the
Lakers a 76-61 lead as the Knicks were getting nothing offensively
from anyone. Shandon Anderson even had an airball from the right
corner on a wide-open 3-point attempt.
The Knicks did not attempt a free throw in the third quarter
while the Lakers took 21, making 17.
"They played aggressively, but I don't think we played that
passive to have that kind of discrepancy, either," Houston said.
Malone helped finish off the Knicks in the early part of the
fourth quarter, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds
while failing to get credited with what should have been at least
two assists. Derek Fisher's layup off a pass from Malone made it
94-75 with 4:55 left, ending any suspense for a subdued crowd that
booed Bryant only minimally.
"This is the best reception I've had (on the road)," Bryant
Williams led the Knicks with a career-high 14 points.
The Knicks record for free throw discrepancy is 42 in a
game against Portland in 1985. ... Reporters who covered the Lakers
in Detroit said the team seemed unusually downcast after the loss.
Jackson and Bryant said the team was unhappy with its defensive
effort in the fourth quarter, while O'Neal explained that the
players were upset with the officiating of veteran referee Jess
Kersey and were holding their tongues. "If you don't have nothing
nice to say, you can't say it," O'Neal said. "We've got to save
our money." ... Fisher, shooting only 35 percent entering the
game, missed his first nine attempts from the field. ... This was
the Lakers' final road game of the month. They had consecutive road
losses at New Orleans, Memphis and Detroit.