L.A. Lakers 130, New York 97
NEW YORK, Jan. 31 (Ticker) --
One night after accusing the New York
Knicks of quitting, coach Larry Brown
packed it in early.
Brown was ejected midway through the third quarter as the
defenseless Knicks showed little fight in their ninth loss in 10
games, a 130-97 beating at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers,
who got 40 points from Kobe Bryant
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The fans filled Madison Square Garden - "The World's Most Famous
Arena" - to see Bryant, the world's most famous player since
his 81-point eruption nine days ago. Instead, they saw another
lackluster effort from the Knicks.
The Knicks were even worse than they were in Monday's 120-101
loss in Atlanta, after which Brown - when asked if his team had
quit - said, "It looked that way. Didn't it look that way to
you? It sure looked that way to me."
It looked that way again Tuesday. The Knicks surrendered another
60-point first half and were never in it in the second half.
With 5:46 left in the third quarter, Brown had had enough and
came onto the court to argue with referee Steve Javie, who
promptly ejected him.
Afterward, reporters endured a lengthy wait for Brown, but he
never came out to discuss the game or the ejection with the
media. Instead, assistant Herb Williams - who coached the rest
of the game - met the media and defended Brown's actions.
"Every second that he's over there on the bench, he's trying to
fight for the team," Williams said. "He's trying to get every
advantage that he can. That's his style. He's going to fight
for his team. That's him, night in and night out. He's always
going to fight and try to protect his team as best as possible."
"He was very upset," Knicks rookie forward Channing Frye
"He voiced his opinion and that is just the way it goes. He
has passion for the game and he has passion for his players.
Things aren't going right and he voiced his opinion."
During their slide, the Knicks have lost by at least 15 points
five times and allowed at least 105 points seven times. In
their only win, they nearly blew a 25-point lead at home against
The Lakers didn't need an explosion from Bryant, who
nevertheless scored 25 points in the first half, helping them
open a 60-44 advantage. He took a seat with his fourth foul in
the third quarter but still notched his league-leading 14th
40-point game of the season.
"I waited until the five-minute timeout in the fourth quarter
(to take Bryant out)," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson
talked at halftime about not getting caught up in the anixety
When the game was ending, Bryant got a standing ovation from a
contingent of Lakers fans near the visiting bench. He also
heard some chants of "MVP" from fans of both teams as he
finished the month averaging 43.4 points.
"It feels good," Bryant said. "It lets me know they appreciate
what I do on the floor."
"Forty points is not that hard to average," Los Angeles guard
joked. "It's easy. Kobe Bryant is a great player.
It's incredible. It's fun to play with him. It's fun to be
in the backcourt with him. It's fun to watch."
Bryant made 7-of-17 shots and 23-of-26 free throws, setting the
Garden record for free throws made and tying the mark for
attempts established by Bernard King vs. New Jersey on December
"I was aggressive," said Bryant, who also went 23-of-26 from the
line at Cleveland on January 30, 2001. "I saw how they played
defense and decided to come at them."
The Lakers shot 58 free throws to 24 for the Knicks, which also
may have upset Brown.
"Things happen," New York point guard Stephon Marbury
"Coach was frustrated with the way were playing, especially the
way the game was being called from his point of view. Things
like that happen."
In improving to 1-1 on a seven-game road trip, Los Angeles also
got a lift from native New Yorkers Parker and Lamar Odom
Parker had 15 points and five assists and Odom added 11 and 13
"(The attention on Bryant) definitely helped me," said
Parker, who played collegiately at Fordham. "To be starting for
the Lakers is incredible. They're a team with so much history
and it's always fun to come back home and win in front of your
hometown friends and family."
"I kept myself in the game by rebounding the ball," said Odom,
who had shot 9-of-27 in his previous three games. "There's a lot
of ways I can help this team. I just got to play good
basketball, be smart with the basketball."
Everyone got into the act for the Lakers, who shot 57 percent
(39-of-68) and scored 130 points for the first time in six
seasons. Teenage rookie Andrew Bynum
scored a career-best 16
points on 7-of-7 shooting in a garbage-time fourth quarter and
added 11, making all four of his shots.
scored 15 points and Quentin Richardson
for the Knicks, who shot 42 percent (36-of-86) and were
outrebounded, 46-35. New York used its 27th different starting
lineup and became the fourth team to reach 30 losses.