Lakers Gameday | 02/02/09 | Lakers 126, Knicks 117


Lakers LogoLos Angeles Lakers
(38-9)
Western Conference Standing : 1
Streak: Won 3

Lakers Game day

Kings LogoNew York Knicks
(21-26)
Eastern Conference Standing : 9
Streak: Lost 1

Injury Report Injury Report
  • Kobe Bryant (dislocated ring finger, right hand) is probable.
  • Andrew Bynum (sprained right knee) is out.
  • Sasha Vujacic (mild sprain, left ankle) is probable.
  • http://nba.com/media/lakers/scores_bg.jpg); background-repeat:repeat-y;">
    Team 1 2 3 4 F
    Los Angeles Lakers 31 34 31 30 126
    New York Knicks 26 28 32 31 117
    • Jared Jeffries (Contused Left Thigh) - Questionable
    • Eddy Curry (Sore Right Knee) - Out
    • Jerome James (Ruptured Right Achilles) - Out for season

    POST-GAME NUMBERS

  • 92 - Kobe wasn't the only one who had a big night as Pau Gasol chipped in with 31 points of his own. Kobe and Pau combined had a total 92 points in their win over the Knicks.
  • 44 - The defensive end for the Lakers got it done tonight, holding down the New York Knicks to a low 44% from the field and 25% from beyond the arc.
  • 27 - The New York Knicks lead the NBA in three point field goal attempts per game and they showed why tonight taking 27 shots from beyond the arc. The Knicks only made seven of their three point attempts.
  • 20 - Kobe had an amazing night, scoring 61 points and going perfect from the charity stripe making all of his 20 free throw attempts.
  • 11 - The Lakers size advantage over the Knicks allowed them to out rebound them by 11 boards and help secure a win on the road over the Knicks. The Knicks finished their night with 40 boards while the Lakers finished their night with 51 boards.
  • 5 - For the fifth time in his career Kobe Bryant has scored 60+ points in a single game. Kobe also set a new Madison Square Garden record for most points scored by an opposing player with 61 points.
    ---Francisco Gomez, Lakers.com
  • LAKERS BEST
    Points
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    61
    Rebounds
    Lamar Odom
    L. Odom
    14
    Assists
    Luke Walton
    L. Walton
    5
    Plus/Minus
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    +20

    Box Score | Play-by-Play | Quotes

    BLOG
  • Postgame
  • Lakers - Knicks Running Diary
  • Bynum Pregame Interview
  • Lakers - Knicks Pregame/Bynum Chatter

  • VIDEO

  • Nightly Notable: Kobe Bryant
  • Dunk of the Night
  • Lamar Odom Postgame
  • Highlights
  • Andrew Bynum on his Injury
  • Phil Jackson on Bynum's Injury
  • Kobe Bryant on Bynum's Injury
  • Lakers Highlights
    PHOTOS


    STARTERS
    Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks
    Guard
    Derek Fisher
    D. Fisher
    Guard
    Kobe Bryant
    K. Bryant
    Forward
    Luke Walton
    L. Walton
    Forward
    Lamar Odom
    L. Odom
    Center
    Pau Gasol
    P. Gasol
    Guard
    Chris Duhon
    C. Duhon
    Guard
    quentin_richardson
    Q. Richardson
    Forward
    Al Harrington
    A. Harrington
    Forward
    Jason Collins
    D. Lee
    Center
    jared_jeffries
    J. Jeffries

    • POST-GAME
    • GAME PREVIEW
    • GAME NOTES
    • SCOUTING REPORT
    • LAKERS UPDATES
    Garden party: Kobe's 61 sets MSG record

    NEW YORK(AP) Kobe Bryant broke the current Madison Square Garden record with 61 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers looked plenty potent without Andrew Bynum in a 126-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night.

    Bryant teased and pleased a sold-out crowd that took turns booing him and saluting him with "MVP!'' chants during an electrifying performance. He passed Michael Jordan's opponent record of 55 points at the present building, known as "Garden IV,'' when he hit three free throws with 3:56 remaining, then bettered Bernard King's mark of 60, set on Christmas Day 1984, with two more foul shots with 2:33 to play.

    Bryant, who also finished with the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, left to a loud ovation after the 24th 50-point game of his career. It was also his fifth 40-point game here.

    Pau Gasol added 31 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers' first game since losing Bynum, their starting center, for eight to 12 weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. They'll be fine without him if Bryant plays the way he did Monday, going 19-of-31 with an array of tough jumpers, powerful drives to the basket and perfect foul shooting. He also hit all 20 free throws.

    Bynum was hurt Saturday at Memphis when Bryant missed a driving shot, then crashed into his leg. The center isn't expected to need surgery and said he was confident he would return in time for the playoffs.

    Lamar Odom moved into the starting lineup and Gasol slid to the center spot to replace Bynum, who was carrying a tall black crutch, though he was limping along without using it. Odom had six points and 14 rebounds.

    The Lakers reached the NBA finals last season despite losing Bynum for the final 46 games with an injury to his left knee, but they missed his inside presence when they were overpowered by Boston in six games.

    Gasol and Odom were too big for the undersized Knicks, but the Lakers will get a truer test of where they are without Bynum when they visit the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers later this week.

    Al Harrington scored 24 points, David Lee had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and reserve Wilson Chandler added 20 points for the Knicks, who had won three straight and six of seven, but didn't have the firepower to stay with the Western Conference leaders in the opener of their brutally tough week.

    New York hosts Cleveland on Wednesday and Boston on Friday. It's the first time a team has played three straight games against opponents with .750 winning percentages after Feb. 1 since the Celtics did it in February 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said the daunting slate would give the Knicks the chance to "elevate'' their game.

    "These will be three great games to do that and whatever happens we'll spin it the best way we can,'' D'Antoni said before the game.

    Odom made a free throw 14 seconds into the game to open the scoring, then Bryant and Gasol combined for the next 30 Los Angeles points. Bryant's 3-pointer with 35 seconds left gave him 18 points and the Lakers a 31-26 lead headed to the second.

    New York was down only one before Bryant returned from a break with 7:25 left in the half and took over the game. He scored nine points in a 1:15 span to make it 49-42 and had 16 points in the second quarter, giving Los Angeles a 65-54 advantage.

    He hit the 40-point mark during a 15-4 spurt midway through the third quarter that allowed the Lakers to finally shake free of their Knicks.

    Notes: Bryant and Lee both picked up NBA awards Monday. Bryant was the Western Conference player of the month after averaging 27.2 points and 7.1 assists while leading the Lakers to a 12-4 record in January. Lee won East player of the week behind his averages of 19 points and 15.3 rebounds, plus 53.5 percent shooting while helping the Knicks go 3-0. ... Bryant's previous best at Madison Square Garden was 46 points on Feb. 6, 2003.


    Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    Lakers - Knicks Preview

    As the Los Angeles Lakers remain concerned about one of their top players, the New York Knicks are ready to embark on a grueling stretch of home games.

    Two of the NBA's hottest teams look to continue their recent success when they meet Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

    Los Angeles (37-9) is trying for its third straight victory on a six-game road trip after a 115-98 win at Memphis on Saturday. The Lakers, though, are likely to be without improving young center Andrew Bynum for this contest.

    Bynum, who was coming into his own during his fourth NBA season and averaging 26.2 points and 13.8 rebounds in his previous five games, hurt his knee in the first quarter Saturday after teammate Kobe Bryant crashed into his right leg.

    The 21-year-old, 7-footer didn't return, but X-rays were negative. He underwent an MRI on Sunday, but the team said results would not be known until Monday.

    "Everybody's just upset for him and disappointed for him,'' said Bryant of Bynum, who missed the final 46 games last season after bruising a bone in his knee and briefly dislocating his kneecap. "But hopefully everything will be OK. We're all optimistic about it.''

    Regardless, the Western Conference's top team must turn its focus to New York (21-25), which has won six of its last seven games. The Knicks, though, open a brutal stretch that includes visits from Eastern Conference powers Cleveland on Wednesday and Boston on Friday.

    "We've got a huge test with three teams coming in here that we're going to need to get a couple victories, and I think we've got a chance to do it," said forward David Lee of the Knicks, who are one half-game back of Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the East.

    First up are the Lakers, who have won six of their last seven overall and the last three meetings with the Knicks.

    Bryant scored 25 points and Pau Gasol added 24 and eight rebounds Saturday against his former team.

    Bryant had 28 points in a 116-114 home win over New York on Dec. 16 and is averaging 30.5 on 49.5 percent shooting in his last four games versus the Knicks. He had 39, 11 rebounds and eight assists in his last visit to MSG, where the Lakers won 95-90 on Dec. 23, 2007.

    Los Angeles, though, is facing a much improved New York team that's looking for a fourth straight victory overall and sixth in a row at home.

    Al Harrington scored 31 points and Lee added 23 with 17 rebounds in New York's 122-113 win at Indiana on Saturday. The Knicks shot 48.9 percent in moving within two wins of matching their total from last season.

    "I'm pleased with the way we're playing and the group we have because they're really trying,'' first-year Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We won't look back, we'll look forward. We want to make the playoffs, we've said that all along.''

    Harrington is helping them do that, averaging 20.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 33 games since joining the Knicks and their up-tempo offense after being traded from Golden State.

    "This is the perfect style of play for me,'' said Harrington, who is averaging 14.5 points in 19 games versus the Lakers. "I'm having a lot of fun and I haven't had fun in a while.''

    Lee, an All-Star snub, is averaging 20.2 points and 14.3 rebounds in his last six contests.

    Nate Robinson had a season-high 33 points for the Knicks in the December loss at Los Angeles.


    Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
    GAME NOTES
    NOTES & CONNECTIONS

    The Lakers lead their season series with New York 1-0 after sweeping last season’s series with the Knicks New York 2-0. Dating back to the Minneapolis era, this will be the teams’ 269th meeting and the 178th since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. In their last 10 overall games, the Lakers have gone 7-3 against the Knicks. In New York, the Lakers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games at Madison Square Garden. At home, the Lakers are 7-3 all-time against the Knicks at STAPLES Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 12-5 against New York. Three seasons ago on January 31, 2006, the Lakers established a series record for largest margin of victory with a 130-97 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. In that contest, Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 40 points while tying his own franchise record with 23 free throws made. Additionally, Bryant’s 23 made free throws established a Madison Square Garden record while his 26 attempts tied the building record. In 23 career games (19 starts) against the Knicks, Bryant is averaging 24.4 points with a high game of 46 points coming back on February 6, 2003. Additionally, Lamar Odom (Christ the King HS in Queens, NY) is a native of New York while Andrew Bynum (St. Joseph HS in Metuchen, NJ) is from nearby New Jersey. Trevor Ariza was drafted by the Knicks in 2004 and became the youngest player to ever wear a Knicks uniform (19 years, 4 months, 4 days). Head Coach Phil Jackson was originally drafted by the Knicks in the 2nd round of the 1967 NBA Draft and was a member of New York’s 1970 and 1973 NBA Championship teams.

    LAKERS SCOUTING REPORT

    Check back soon for our scouting report against the New York Knicks.
    Read more...

    LAKERS UPDATES

    THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
    Including games on their current six-game trip, the Lakers will play 21 of their next 30 games on the road including the next five straight while playing just four home games during the month of February. Having played just 19 road games to date, the Lakers 22 remaining road games on the schedule are the most of any NBA team league-wide. Memphis has played the 2nd fewest road games of any team this season (20) with Charlotte and San Antonio next with 21 road games apiece.

    BRYANT RECLAIMS NO. 1 SPOT ON LIST OF NBA’S MOST POPULAR JERSEYS, LAKERS TOP MOST POPULAR TEAM MERCHANDISE LIST
    On January 28, the NBA announced that 11-time All-Star Kobe Bryant has the most popular jersey in the NBA, moving past Boston’s Kevin Garnett to regain the No. 1 spot on the NBA’s Most Popular Jersey list. Additionally, with the Western Conference’s best record, the Lakers top the list of Most Popular NBA Team Merchandise. The rankings are based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and NBAStore.com since the start of the 2008-09 NBA season through January 2009. Garnett drops one spot to No. 2 while Cleveland’s LeBron James holds on to the No. 3 spot on the list. New Orleans’ Chris Paul (4) and Detroit’s Allen Iverson (5) round out the Top 5. Pau Gasol moved to No. 6, up from No. 15 a year ago. Boston (2), New York (3), Cleveland (4) and Chicago (5) round out the top 5 in team merchandise. December was the best sales month in history for the NBA Store and NBAStore.com, with combined sales up 10 percent over the same time period last year. This season marks the 3rd with adidas as the NBA’s official on-court uniform and apparel provider and since the start of the season, jersey sales on NBAStore.com are up 40+ percent.

    ANDREW BYNUM 3rd LAKER TO WIN WC PLAYER OF THE WEEK, 8th EVER LAKER TO EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK SINCE AWARD’S INCEPTION
    On January 26, the NBA announced that Andrew Bynum had earned Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, January 19 through Sunday, January 25, giving him the FIRST WC Player of the week award of his career. Now the third Laker (Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal) to win the award since it became separated by Conference and the eighth to win the weekly honor overall since its inception, Bynum averaged 23.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.25 blocks in helping lead Los Angeles to a 4-0 week which included victories over the Cavaliers and Spurs. In the Lakers January 21 victory over the Clippers, Bynum scored a career-high 42 points while adding 15 rebounds and three blocked shots while posting 23 points and 14 rebounds the following game versus Washington. On the week, Bynum recorded point-rebound double-doubles in three of four games in helping the Lakers to the NBA’s best record at 35-8 (.814).

    HALFWAY MARK
    Improving to 33-8 with their victory over the Clippers January 21, the Lakers reached the official halfway point of the season with their best record since Phil Jackson’s first year in Los Angeles when the 1999-00 Lakers started 33-8 as well. Additionally, the 1987-88 Lakers also arrived at the midway point of the season with a 33-8 record, a mark that is tied for the second best record in franchise history through 41 games behind the 1971-72 Lakers record of 38-3.