Notebook: Knicks 116, Lakers 107



Posted Dec 14, 2012 12:29 AM

By Adam Zagoria, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony sprained his left ankle in the third quarter but not before he went off for 22 of his 30 points in the first quarter as the Knicks cruised to a 116-107 victory over the Lakers in Mike D'Antoni's return to Madison Square Garden.

Anthony was fouled by Dwight Howard on a drive to the basket with 6:54 remaining in the third. His left leg bent back awkwardly as he landed and, after getting up slowly, he made 1-of-2 foul shots. He initially tried to walk it off and stay in the game, but then departed for the locker room and did not return.

According to ESPN, the last player to score 30 while playing 22 or fewer minutes was David Robinson in 1995.

The Knicks improved to a perfect 9-0 at home and have won eight of nine while improving their Eastern Conference-best record to 17-5.

The Lakers dropped their fourth straight, have lost six of seven and fell to 4-9 under D'Antoni, who was booed by the Garden faithful at the game's outset and serenaded with chants of "Mike D'Antoni" down the stretch.

Raymond Felton added 19 points and eight assists for the Knicks and Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith had 18 apiece.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points, Metta World Peace had 23 and Howard added 20.

QUOTABLE: "Right now it's just day-to-day, it's a slight sprain."
-- Anthony.

THE STAT: The Knicks entered the game leading the league in 3-point attempts per game (29.3). They continued to bomb away, going 12-for 25, with Steve Novak making 4-of-5 en route to 12 points.

TURNING POINT: Anthony picked up where he left off Tuesday night in Brooklyn when he went for a season-high 45 points in a 100-97 victory over the Nets. He had 22 on 8-for-9 shooting in the first period as the Knicks raced out to a 41-27 lead. He had 26 at the break when the Knicks led, 68-49. He has scored 75 points in his last two games, even with the injury.

QUOTABLE II: "I wanted to beat them. I wanted to beat the Lakers...It had nothing to do with Mike [D'Antoni]."
-- Anthony.

WHO'S HOT: Once an assistant to D'Antoni with the Knicks, Woodson improved to 20-1 at the Garden and owns the best record in the East.

WHO'S NOT: Playing in place of the injured Steve Nash, Chris Duhon, a former Knick, went 1-for-6 for three points and four assists. Duhon was coming off a two-point, two-assist, two-turnover outing in Tuesday's loss at Cleveland.

QUOTABLE III: "Carmelo was unbelievable in the first quarter. When Melo gets going like that, that's Melo."
-- D'Antoni.

NOTABLE: D'Antoni told reporters that he never said it was a mistake to take the Knicks job. "It was a mistake to leave Nash," he said. Of his time with the Knicks, he said: "I wish I would've did better, but it was good." Of the Knicks' start this season, D'Antoni said: "They're playing super. They're good guys...they're rolling right now."

QUOTABLE IV: "Obviously, we gotta get our guys back and right now we're struggling and hopefully tomorrow we can start our way back a little bit."
-- D'Antoni.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Former Yankee great Bernie Williams played the National Anthem on guitar. Patrick Ewing, Ben Stiller and John Legend sat courtside. Ewing received a huge ovation in the first quarter.


UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Saturday vs. Cleveland, Monday vs. Houston, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn. For the Lakers, Friday @ Washington, Sunday @ Philadelphia, Tuesday vs. Charlotte.