GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 30 32 23 28 113
Play by Play New York Knicks 28 20 20 28 96


Bryant scores 33 points as Lakers rout Knicks

By BRIAN MAHONEY

NEW YORK (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 33 points in another effortless night at Madison Square Garden, and the Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 113-96 victory over the struggling New York Knicks on Friday night.

Bryant scored 19 points in the first quarter, and perhaps only the lopsided score kept him from recording a sixth 40-point game at the arena. He raised his average at MSG to 30.5 points, edging past Carmelo Anthony and into the lead for tops among active players. Bryant also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Pau Gasol added 20 points for the Lakers, who beat the Knicks for the eighth straight time overall and fifth in a row at the Garden, where Bryant owns the scoring record of 61 points that might've been in jeopardy if he played more than 29 minutes.

He sat on the bench in the fourth quarter, rising only to pump his fist a few times after baskets by teammates who were too good for the Knicks even without him.

Bryant shot 12 of 17 from the field and hit four 3-pointers as the Lakers made 54 percent of their shots, two nights after the Clippers had no trouble with New York's defense.

Amare Stoudemire had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost for the fourth time in five games and fell to 26-26, the first time they've been at .500 since they were 9-9 after beating Detroit on Nov. 28.

Worse for New York, the All-Star forward picked up his 14th technical foul of the season, moving him two away from an automatic one-game suspension that seems a certainty with the pace he's accumulated them.

The Lakers followed their 92-86 victory over archival Boston on Thursday by improving to 4-0 on a seven-game road trip while Staples Center prepares to host the Grammys. A stop in New York was a nice benefit for the Lakers, since regulars Ron Artest and Lamar Odom are from the city, coach Phil Jackson played and might've been coaching for the final time here, and Bryant loves playing in the building.

Knicks fans booed when he heard the usual "MVP! MVP!" chants he gets here, but he was simply too good to keep his fans quiet for too long. His points came so easily early in the game that it seemed the record at the current building that he set on Feb. 2, 2009, could fall.

Bryant's jumper early in the third quarter had the lead up to 18, which the Knicks quickly cut in half. Bryant settled things down with a jumper, then pump-faked before nailing a 3-pointer that put the Lakers ahead 77-62 with 4 minutes left in the period, and his night was over soon after.

Jackson has said this will be his last season as a coach, but said he wasn't feeling nostalgic about this perhaps being his final game at Madison Square Garden.

"I'm not prone to that," Jackson said, adding that riding up the elevator to the fifth floor at the arena "makes you want to think about, 'You know, I don't want to do this anymore."'

Bryant scored 20 points in the second half of Thursday's win, and picked up right where he left off with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the first quarter. His jumper at the buzzer gave Los Angeles a 30-28 lead.

The Lakers extended the lead with Bryant on the bench, with an acrobatic slam by backup Shannon Brown highlighting a 13-4 spurt that made it 48-37 midway through the second quarter. Los Angeles led by as much as 17 later in the period before taking a 62-48 advantage into the half.

Notes: The Lakers improved to 9-1 on the second night of back-to-back games. ... The Knicks were wearing the road uniforms they wore during the 1969-70 championship season - a team Jackson was on. But he said his first thought upon arriving at the arena was that it didn't "smell like elephants," recalling that the building often had the leftover smell from the circus' run in the spring when the Bulls teams he coached faced the Knicks in the playoffs. ... The crowd included rapper Kanye West, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan - wearing a Walt Frazier Knicks jersey - and Vogue Magazine editor in chief Anna Wintour. ... The Knicks last beat the Lakers on Feb. 13, 2007.


Copyright 2010 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



54.0 Lakers shooting percentage in a game where they pretty much got what they wanted offensively.

19 First quarter points for an absolutely en fuego Kobe Bryant, who hit 7-of-9 shots, including 3-of-4 three-pointers, to lead the Lakers to a 30-point quarter. They visitors did, however, concede 28 points on NYK’s 58 percent shooting, before L.A.s bench created a 10-point lead in the first six minutes of the second quarter as Bryant rested. He’d rest again for the whole fourth quarter, content with 33 points and 10 boards in three quarters of work.

17 L.A.’s biggest lead of the first half, attained late in the second quarter, before the Knicks scored three points in the final 0.8 seconds to cut the lead to 62-48 at the half. Though the Knicks would eventually cut it to nine, a fourth quarter run by L.A.’s bench opened things up further at 102-82, capped by Odom’s three with 6:24 to play as many fans started walking out of the building.

9 Turnovers for the Lakers after a first quarter in which they posted five, helping the Knicks stay in the game.

4 Three pointers hit by Bryant, for the fourth time this season, the most he’s managed on the season.




View More Photos


Points Bryant 12-17 FG 33
Rebounds Bryant 4 OFF 6 DEF 10
Assists Blake 7
Steals Artest 3
Blocks Artest, Bynum, Gasol 1

POSTGAME QUOTES

Head Coach Phil Jackson

On tonight’s game:
“We played a game where the rhythm was ours and after the first quarter, I thought we played the game in our tempo.  We went inside and did the things we wanted to do inside…got the ball to Pau [Gasol] and Drew [Andrew Bynum].  Kobe [Bryant] had that great first quarter that kind of bullied our effort out there tonight.  Our bench was good.  Shannon Brown had some spectacular plays and we had good support off of the bench.”

On the Knicks:
“They made strides this year.  They are playing better basketball.  They are looking like they are definitely a playoff team.  They have had some struggles recently.  I know everything was going great for them about a month ago and it has been a little harder right now, but they are going to get it back together and get their second legs as they go through the season.  Landry [Fields] has been a great performer this year but he is a rookie and has hit that mid point in the season.  I think it is kind of tough for a rookie that first season but he has shown that he is a player and they have support off of the bench this year.”

On Kobe Bryant:
“I think he was frustrated that he made mistakes with the basketball.  He said what the heck, I’ve been passing the ball and they have been intercepting it and going down for free throws and layup situations so I better shoot the ball here and carry my end of the stick…probably before Phil is going to take me out and put me on the bench.  He did get that hot hand that he wanted to stay in and we ran him through the quarter.”

On Andrew Bynum:
“He is a dominating big guy.  His size makes teams have to cover the basket because he is so big that he can score off of catches at the basket and dunks…and those are high percentage things.  He is a big body that can block shots.  We are still working with him about defense first.  We want to make that a priority in his game so he understands that, but his offensive game is very effective.”

 







Kobe Bryant

On tonight’s game:
“We executed well.  We had great spacing.  We were able to get penetration and get in the paint.  I feel like we rebounded pretty well today as well.”

On the New York fans treating him well:
“The problem is that there are so many Lakers fans here in New York, so unless they are going to be more selective on who they sell tickets to, I do not see that changing too much.”

On Phil Jackson:
“I was aware that this might be his last time here and before the game, we always talk about stories…the building and when he played here.  I could tell it means a lot to him but he will  never say it.  He will never show it, but I am sure it meant a lot to him.”

More on tonight’s game:
“I wanted to come out and play a good floor game but they jumped on us early.  They got momentum early so I tried to see if I could get the momentum back.  I know that if I knock down two or three shots in a row, all of a sudden everybody is saying it is going to be one of those nights.  That takes momentum away from them, so that is all that I tried to do.”






Pau Gasol

On remaining focused during back-to-back games:
“Just exactly that. We had to bring the focus and understand that we needed to push ourselves through any fatigue that we were feeling. We had to be active and get ourselves going early.”

On Kobe tonight:
“When he gets it going like that you have to let it ride. But, you can’t get caught up in it all game long. If he kept going like that all game long, he’d score over 100. But, we must take advantage when he gets into those kinds of stretches when he’s feeling hot and then get back to your execution.”

On Road Trip Success:
“After our last-second loss to San Antonio we just wanted to bounce back. We knew we had the opportunity to do so starting with the first game on the road trip, but every game has been a challenge. It hasn’t been an easy road trip, but we’ve been really successful and we must need to continue. I think we’re more confident in what we’re doing and more active out there and the attitude and body language is better from all the guys.”








Head Coach Mike D’Antoni

On tonight’s game:
“We’re not playing real smart, we’re not hitting shots, obviously.  There were stretches we played pretty well. Kobe (Bryant) definitely took a shot at our game as far as he could.  He made some tough shots especially the first quarter.  It seemed like we would start to battle but then made silly errors that cost us.”

More on tonight’s game:
“The Lakers are good, they played well.  It seems like they’ve got it together.  We have to move the ball.  In the first half, we tried to take it to them (Lakers), and they’re long and tall and they’re in there.  We didn’t play very smart, we turned it over a few times, and didn’t make the shots we needed to hit.”

On Kobe Bryant:
“These are games where he’s 9-20 with 10 rebounds.  When you have about 4-5 clicking, we just didn’t have enough.  We can’t shoot 41% and turn the ball over 18-19 times and beat these guys.  We were down 2 at the 1st quarter, that’s not really what beat us, we kept moving the ball, we were a little hard-headed and were making some turnovers and I thought we played pretty good defense against Kobe.”

On Landry Fields:
I thought his performance was great, he does a great job.  7 points and 11 rebounds, he battles, he’s a good defender, he’ll learn.  Right now we’re struggling with being smart and we’re young.  Sometimes Landry messes up a couple things and we don’t have quite that margin of error to overcome that yet, but again, the focus has to be we just have to re-group and come back and play.”








Amar’e Stoudemire

On tonight’s game:
“I think we played well.  We played with better effort.  We got into guys from the start but the Lakers played extremely well.  They shot the ball from the field so they played a great game.  We won the rebounding war so that did not phase us too much.  Turnovers were not too bad.  I think we had four more turnovers than they did.  The game was pretty much fairly played, I just think that they shot well from the outside.  Kobe [Bryant] was on fire there for a while and he pretty much got his team going with great shooting.”

More on tonight’s game:
“We have to have our confidence.  We have to make sure we go into the second half of the year with confidence.  This makes tomorrow’s game even bigger for us.  We have Atlanta shortly after that.  Tomorrow’s game is a must win. We try to focus in these games.  We let a few games get away by having a lack of focus…lack of determination, but I think now we understand that we have work to do and we have not done anything yet.  We just have to make sure we come with great focus, determination, enthusiasm and energy every night.”

“I just think we have to get back on the right track.  We have to get our confidence back up and play solid basketball on both ends of the court…with energy…with a swagger.  We have not had our swagger for the past two and a half weeks so we have to get back to what we were used to doing…how we started the year.”







Raymond Felton



On tonight’s game:
“Some nights you have to score.  Some nights you do not.  It was one of those nights.  They [the Lakers] shot the ball well…everybody did.  It was not only Kobe [Bryant].  Kobe got hot but they all shot the ball well.  Against a team like that…when they shoot well, you make the little, small turnovers and they capitalize on them.  Things like that hurt.”

“We have to wake up.  We have to find a way to start winning games.  That is plain and simple.  We have to wake up.  It starts in the locker room…it starts here with us…nobody else.  It’s not about being vocal.  We just have to put our heads together and figure this out.  Me and Amar’e [Stoudemire] can say all of this stuff.  We can lead by example but we are all in this together.  Collectively we have to figure this out.  Everybody coaches everybody.”








LAKERS VS. KNICKS GAME PREVIEW

By KATE HEDLIN, STATS Writer

The Los Angeles Lakers remained perfect on their road trip by winning an NBA finals rematch against an ancient rival.

The Lakers may not have the same postseason history with the New York Knicks, but it's clear the teams' interconference rivalry is gaining steam again.

Los Angeles looks to beat New York for the eighth straight time Friday night when the teams meet at Madison Square Garden in a rematch of a game last month that got heated.

The Lakers (37-16) improved to 3-0 on their seven-game trip with a 92-86 win over Boston on Thursday. Kobe Bryant scored 23 points, including 20 in the second half, while Pau Gasol added 20 points and 10 rebounds to help Los Angeles salvage a season-series split with the team it defeated in last June's NBA finals.

The Lakers, who have held three of their last four opponents to fewer than 90 points, don't figure to be in danger of a letdown against New York after the teams' hard-fought meeting last month.

The Lakers have won seven straight over the Knicks, including a 109-87 home victory Jan. 9. Ron Artest was charged with a flagrant foul late in the third quarter when he clotheslined Amare Stoudemire.Andrew Bynum was later ejected, and Stoudemire and Bryant exchanged angry words.

Bryant downplayed the altercations.

"(It) wasn't really physical," he said. "We're a little bigger than they are, so there was a lot of bumping going on, but it wasn't really physical."

While there figures to be some extra intensity Friday night, Bryant has needed little additional motivation when visiting MSG. He's averaged 30.3 points there over his career - his highest average at any venue where he's played at least 10 times - including a 61-point performance Feb. 2, 2009. He scored 27 in last month's victory over New York at home.

While Los Angeles hopes it is heating up following a 3-5 stretch, the Knicks (26-25) have struggled since their loss at Staples Center. They have dropped 10 of 14, including three of their last four. They trailed by as many as 20 points Wednesday en route to a 116-108 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Knicks allowed the Clippers to shoot 54.7 percent - the second-highest mark by a visiting team at MSG this season. New York is giving up an average of 108.2 points and allowing opponents to shoot 51.2 percent over the last six games.

"We're not playing hard, we're not getting loose balls. Seems like we're afraid out there," said Stoudemire, who had 23 points in Wednesday's loss. "I said it before the game. We've got to have supreme focus. I guess they figured I was just talking to the wall."

Stoudemire had 23 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks against the Lakers last month, but shot just 7 of 23 from the field.



Copyright 2010 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 Matt Barnes (right knee surgery) is not with team.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is not with team.

Ronny Turiaf (sprained right ankle) is questionable.
Kelenna Azubuike
(left knee surgery) is out.



1/09 - NYK @ LAL W 109-87
2/11 - LAL @ NYK


The Knicks are 5-10 since we saw them about a month ago at Staples Center.  They are coming off a home loss to the Clippers and following that game their leader Amare Stoudemire questioned their focus.  This game will be extremely dangerous as we try to maintain the energy level that propelled us to a win at Boston last night and New York tries to get back on track with a home win over the defending Champions.  This game will not be about the ‘X’s & O’s’ but rather about our ability to recognize personnel and to inflict our will on the tempo of the game.  We do not want to get caught up in a track meet type game with this team.  They score the bulk of their points off of turnovers, off of three point shots & off of free throws.  Once again by keeping the tempo in our favor and minimizing those easy points we will give ourselves the best chance to get the win.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead their season series with New York 1-0, after sweeping last season's series with the Knicks 2-0 for the 3rd consecutive year. Dating back to the Minneapolis era, this will be the two teams' 273rd meeting and the 182nd since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. In their last 10 overall games, the Lakers have gone 8-2 against the Knicks and have won seven straight against New York. At home, the Lakers are 9-3 all-time against the Knicks at STAPLES Center. In New York, the Lakers have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games at Madison Square Garden. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 16-5 against New York. On 2/2/09, Kobe Bryant scored a Madison Square Garden record 61 points (19-31 FG) while converting a franchise record for free throws made without a miss (20). Bryant's 20 free throws without a miss tied for 2nd most in NBA history without a miss behind Dominique Wilkins' 23-23 effort in December of 1992. It was the 5th time Bryant has scored 40+ points at MSG, with his 61 points surpassing Michael Jordan's 55-point opponent record and Bernard King's 60-point building record. On January 31, 2006, the Lakers established a series record for largest margin of victory with a 130-97 win over the Knicks at MSG. In that contest, 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 set an MSG record while his 26 attempts tied the building record. In 27 career games (23 starts) against the Knicks, Bryant is averaging 26.3 points. Additionally, Lamar Odom (Christ the King HS in Queens, NY) and rookie Devin Ebanks (born in Queens, NY) are natives of New York while Andrew Bynum and rookie Derrick Caracter are from nearby New Jersey. Ron Artest was born in Queensbridge, NY, teamed with Elton Brand and Odom on the same AAU team in the city as a teenager and attended both high school (La Salle Academy) and college (St. John's) in New York, NY. 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. New York's Ronny Turiaf was drafted by the Lakers in the 2nd round of the 2005 NBA Draft (37th overall) and played three seasons with Los Angeles (2005-08), averaging 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.13 blocks in 15.6 minutes. Also, Knicks guard Tony Douglas was selected by the Lakers with the 29th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and subsequently traded to New York for a future 2nd round draft pick and cash considerations.
THE COMEBACK KIDS

In their 92-86 victory at Boston February 10, the Lakers overcame a 15-point deficit to defeat the Celtics at TD Garden. The Lakers only other road come from behind victory when trailing by at least 15 points over the past six seasons came with a 16-point comeback win at Chicago on March 21, 2009. Furthermore, the game against the Celtics marked just the second regular season game between the two teams in the last 20 seasons in which each team entered the game at least 20 games above .500. The other matchup occurred on February 5, 2009 at TD Garden, when the Celtics held a 41-9 record and the Lakers were 39-9. The Lakers went on to win that contest with a 110-109 overtime victory.*
GONE FOR THE GRAMMYS
On Friday, February 4th, the Lakers headed to New Orleans, embarking on their annual Grammys Trip. Since STAPLES Center opened prior to the 1999-2000 season, the venue has been host to the Grammy Awards each winter, with the exception of the 2003 Grammy Awards, which were held at Madison Square Garden.

BACK-TO-BACK
Friday's game against New York is the second of a back-to-back set with the Celtics and Knicks. This season, the Lakers are 7-3 in the first game and 8-1 in the second of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-backs came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

30-30 COMBO
In the Lakers 101-95 victory at New Orleans February 5, both Pau Gasol (34) and Kobe Bryant (32) scored 30-plus points in the same contest for the first time since March 1, 2009 at Phoenix, and for the sixth time since becoming teammates in February of 2008. The Lakers are now 5-1 when Bryant and Gasol both score 30-plus points in the same contest. Back on February 4th, 2009, Bryant and Gasol became the first Lakers teammates to post back-to-back 30-point games together since Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal did so on April 10th and 13th, 2003. Bryant and O'Neal both scored 30-plus points in the same contest 33 times as teammates, with the Lakers posting a 27-6 record in those games.

LAKERS COMMIT JUST FOUR TURNOVERS WHILE LIMITING OPPONENT TO A FRANCHISE-LOW FOUR FREE THROW ATTEMPTS
In the Lakers 101-95 victory at New Orleans February 5, the Lakers committed just four turnovers, with New Orleans failing to record a single steal. The last time the Lakers had only four turnovers in a game came in a 110-90 victory over Minnesota on March 6, 2009. The Lakers committed a franchise-low three turnovers in a game on December 30, 2001 in a 114-90 victory vs. Houston. Furthermore, the Hornet's four free throw attempts marks a Lakers opponent franchise-low for free throw attempts in a game in the shot clock era. The previous franchise-low of five opponent free-throw attempts occurred twice, 4/7/06 at Phoenix and 1/6/02 at Toronto.

BRYANT PASSES HAKEEM OLAJUWON FOR 8th ON NBA'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
With a fast break dunk at the 3:29 mark of the first quarter 1/28 vs. Sacramento, Kobe Bryant moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) for 8th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Earlier this month, Bryant moved past Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7 vs. New Orleans and Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4 vs. Detroit on the all-time list. Should he continue to score anywhere near his current pace (25.4 ppg), Bryant (27,135) would move to 6th on the all-time list by season's end. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant are Elvin Hayes (7th/27,313) and Moses Malone (6th/27,409). Among the top eight scorers in NBA history, more than half (5) have worn the Lakers uniform (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st), Karl Malone (2nd), Wilt Chamberlain (4th), Shaquille O'Neal (5th) and Bryant (8th)).

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. Earlier this season, with 23 points at Chicago (12/10/10), he passed John Havlicek (26,395) for 11th. Last season, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West's retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).





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