New York's pair outdid the Los Angeles duo statistically, but
the streaking Lakers still defeated the struggling Knicks 98-90 for
their 10th straight victory.
"They had great nights," Malone said of Anderson and Eisley,
who scored 26 points each to combine for 52 of New York's 90
points. "But I like the end result -- they lost."
Malone scored 20 points and Russell had 12 points, five rebounds
and four steals to help the Lakers to their 27th consecutive
regular-season home victory -- three shy of the franchise record set
in 1951 when the Lakers played in Minneapolis.
"They played well," Russell said of his former teammates. "We
were cool when we were there -- we're cool now."
Kobe Bryant had 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds;
Shaquille O'Neal added 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked
shots, and Gary Payton scored 17 points for the Lakers, whose 18-3
record is the best in the NBA.
"I think all of us realize in the last two games, we've let
teams back in. But 18-3, we'll definitely take that," Malone said.
The loss was the fifth in a row for the Knicks (7-15), who
played without leading scorer Allan Houston (sore right knee).
Houston scored a career-high 53 points in leading the Knicks to
a 117-110 victory over Los Angeles last Feb. 16 at Staples Center.
The Lakers haven't lost a regular-season home game since.
Keith Van Horn had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks,
who lost despite outrebounding the Lakers 52-38.
"I think that when you're going up against a team with as many
weapons as the Lakers, you've got to just play pretty close to a
perfect game -- especially if you're on the road," Knicks coach Don
Chaney said. "We lost the game, but we competed.
"We ran flat toward the end because we were short-handed. And,
with less turnovers, I think we would have had a chance to win."
The Knicks committed 21 turnovers to only 10 for the Lakers.
New York outscored the Lakers 8-2 to begin the fourth quarter to
move within four points. But that was as close as the Knicks would
Baskets by Malone and Bryant gave the Lakers a 91-81 lead with
three minutes remaining to put the game out of reach.
Anderson and Van Horn scored four points each during a 10-4 run
early in the third quarter that cut the Lakers' lead to eight
points. Los Angeles led 76-66 entering the final period.
O'Neal scored his first points 18 seconds into the second
quarter, making a three-point play that triggered a 10-0 run,
giving the Lakers a 28-25 lead.
It was 29-all when the Lakers outscored the Knicks 10-0 again to
go ahead for good. O'Neal finished the second quarter with 13
points as the Lakers outscored New York 35-16 for a 53-41 halftime
The Knicks committed 10 turnovers in the decisive second period.
Van Horn scored the game's first five points and the Knicks led
9-0 before a dunk by Bryant put the Lakers on the scoreboard.
Anderson shot 5-for-8 and had 12 points in the first period,
which ended with the Knicks on top 25-18.
The NBA record for consecutive regular-season wins at home
is 44 by the Chicago Bulls over the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.
The Bulls' coach those years was current Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
... Houston has missed two straight games and four overall this
season. He is listed as questionable for Wednesday night's game at
Utah -- the finale of a five-game road trip. ... The Lakers beat the
Knicks 104-83 in New York last month, going 37-for-47 from the foul
line while the Knicks were 6-for-6. "I've never seen that
disparity -- that's once in a lifetime," Jackson said before
Tuesday night's game. The Lakers shot 28-for-39 from the line and
the Knicks were 13-for-17 in this game. ... Despite being swept by
the Lakers this season, the Knicks are 12-11 in games between the
teams over the last 12 years. ... Former Lakers' star Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, attended the game.
Malone is second on the career scoring list.