Gameday: Lakers 99, Knicks 82

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score New York Knicks 24 27 21 10 82
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 31 32 17 19 99


Kobe scores 28, Lakers surge past Knicks in 4th

By GREG BEACHAM

Posted Dec 29 2011 10:35PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 28 points in yet another dynamic performance against the Knicks, and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter for their ninth straight victory over New York, 99-82 Thursday night.

Pau Gasol had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Lakers, who have won two straight after a 0-2 start to the compressed season.

Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points in his first showdown with Bryant since joining the Knicks, and Amare Stoudemire had 15 points on 4-for-17 shooting as New York again struggled down the stretch in the middle stop of a three-game West Coast road trip.

Steve Blake scored 11 points and hit two big 3-pointers while the Lakers opened the fourth quarter with a 17-3 run, taking a 22-point lead and forcing the Knicks to miss nine of their first 10 shots while committing seven turnovers. Bryant didn't even need to score in the fourth quarter, contributing three assists as Los Angeles roared away.

The Lakers have dominated this rivalry between the signature teams from the nation's two largest cities in recent years, winning every meeting since February 2007 with Bryant averaging more than 34 points per game.

Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 11 rebounds in his hometown for the Knicks, whose nine-game skid against the Lakers is their longest current stretch against any opponent.

New York opened the season with a gritty win over Boston on Christmas Day, but lost to Golden State on Wednesday. The Knicks' frustration showed in technical fouls for each of their

Big Three, who incessantly argued calls despite New York's 41-22 free throw advantage.

Josh McRoberts scored 10 points for the Lakers, who made 23 of their 32 shots before halftime for their highest shooting percentage in one half in nearly 13 years. New York pulled within eight points heading into the fourth quarter, but then committed five turnovers in the next 2 1/2 minutes as reserves Blake and Matt Barnes led the Lakers' runaway.

Although Bryant is playing with a torn ligament in his right wrist that requires a brace whenever he isn't playing, the 13-time All-Star's latest injury is doing little to slow him. He has scored at least 25 points in each of the Lakers' games so far, and he shredded the Knicks' spotty defense.

The Lakers were the only team to begin the season with three games in three nights, losing the first two before routing Utah on Tuesday for new coach Mike Brown's first victory.

Although the Lakers struggled early, they've been downright dominant on defense in the past three games at home, showing they're already picking up the finer points of Brown's defense-based system.

The Lakers, who held the Knicks to 31.3 percent shooting, will get even better on defense with center Andrew Bynum wrapping up his season-opening four-game suspension for his misbehavior in last spring's playoff finale. He'll be in the lineup for the Denver Nuggets' visit to Staples Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Lakers returned from their first day off with a sharp first half, taking a 16-point lead in the second quarter with crisp offensive execution that frequently left behind the Knicks.

Anthony scored 18 points in the half with six field goals - the same number managed by all of his teammates combined.

Los Angeles' bench missed just one shot in the first half, and nobody in a gold uniform missed more than two.

Bryant scored 13 points in the third quarter, even banking in a long 3-pointer while getting fouled on a four-point play late in the period, but the Knicks trimmed Los Angeles' lead to 80-72 heading into the fourth.

NOTES: The Lakers made 77.1 percent of their shots in the second half against Orlando on March 21, 1999. ... Baron Davis is traveling on the West Coast with the Knicks, but not playing while resting a herniated disc in his back. The veteran guard grew up in Los Angeles. ... Former Lakers broadcaster Spero Dedes returned to Staples Center for the first time since abruptly leaving Los Angeles during the summer to work for the Knicks. ... Fans near courtside included USC QB Matt Barkley, Angels ace Jered Weaver, Willie McGinest, actress Kaley Cuoco and Richard Lewis, who sat in with the Lakers' radio broadcast team.

Copyright 2011 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





View More Photos


Points Bryant 28, 10-17 FG
Rebounds Gasol 10, 1 OFF 9 DEF
Assists Bryant 6
Steals McRoberts 3
Blocks McRoberts/Gasol 2


POSTGAME QUOTES



Mike Brown:
On the team’s defensive effort:

“I thought our guys were very active defensively so it was fun to watch. Obviously you’re not going to stop a guy like Carmelo Anthony, you just hope you can slow him down a little bit. It was a team effort. I thought our guys did a nice job making him work for his shots. To hold a team to 82 points on 31 percent from the floor and then only give up nine offensive rebounds with their size on the front line was pretty impressive.”

On Kobe Bryant:

“Obviously Kobe is Kobe. You can’t downplay what he does for us because he did everything for us. When we were on that run late in the game he was truly facilitating for guys, getting guys great looks from three.”

On the play of the bench:

“You look at our bench and you look at Troy Murphy coming off the bench with seven rebounds. You look at our bench scoring, I need a calculator to add up all of the points that we had from our bench. For me, that’s extremely exciting especially in a shortened season that’s compressed. We’ve got to have guys that can come off the bench that can help produce on both ends of the floor. To see the scoring output was exciting.”



Kobe Bryant:
Opening statement:

“We played very well and we did a great job. Trying to hold down a top offensive team like the Knicks, you have to be on top of your execution and we were.”

On team’s bench play tonight:

“It was huge. Our bench did a great job of really holding us in defensively, getting steals, creating havoc and obviously scoring the ball in transition.”

On weak side defensive help execution in games:

“Everybody has a job, everybody has assignments. You can hold everyone accountable in terms of where the mistakes are being made and who’s making them. From that standpoint, everybody has a responsibility to one another to protect each other.”




Steve Blake:
On how team is coming together:

“It’s going really well. Everyone did their job tonight. Defensively, we did a great job and we executed on offense, so I was pretty pleased with how we performed today.”

On what team needs to work on:

“Well, every single day, we need to work on our defensive rotations and understanding where we need to be on a night-to-night basis. Offensively, still, got to get guys in the right spots and certain positions, but for the most part, we’re continuing to learn and get better every day.”




Pau Gasol:
On team’s defensive activity last two games:

“It’s just communication, activity, understanding where we need to be when certain situations come up. It’s just being active and continuously working."

On play of newcomers:

“I think their roles are getting clearer and clearer. I think everybody understands what we’re trying to do and we’ve been working hard with a few challenges here and there.”




Mike D'Antoni:
On the Knicks performance against the Lakers defense:

“The Lakers are good, and we’re awful. We didn’t play well, we can’t make shots. We started off really well, I thought that the pace was good, the rhythm was good, and then it just went downhill from there.”

Jon giving up open three-pointers:

“We held them to like 17 points in the third and then 19 in the fourth, we’re just not going to be able to hold them to 10 points, I mean they’ve got to be able to score a little bit…but, we’ve got to score. Our guys are fighting, they’re playing hard, we just can’t make a shot. We’re not having very good rhythm out there.”




Tyson Chandler:
On his view of tonight’s game and the rest of the season:

“It’s all going to come. You know, with the way this season is we didn’t get much time to really come together and get things set and get an understanding of where we are going to get our shots and this and that. All of that’s going to start forming. We have too much offensive power not for it to start forming”

On what they need to work on:

“I think everything is just difficult for us right now. We got to make things easier than the way it’s been. The way we do that is by trusting one another, swinging the ball, the open guy taking the shot with confidence you know, making the defense pay.”




Carmelo Anthony:
On what they need to work on:

“We’re struggling a little bit offensively right now to make shots but for the most part I’m not too concerned about that. The shots that we’re taking, the shots that we’re not taking, we have to start taking open shots.”

On whether the short training camp affected their play:

“There’s no excuses man, there is definitely no excuses. It is what it is at this point. Can’t cry over a short training camp.”






KNICKS-LAKERS PREVIEW

By Matt Becker

After starting the season with a dramatic win, the New York Knicks opened a three-game road trip with a disappointing loss.

Bouncing back against the Los Angeles Lakers doesn’t look like it will be easy.

The Knicks try to avoid losing a ninth straight game to the Lakers when they meet Thursday night at Staples Center.

New York (1-1) got off to an encouraging start to the season by rallying from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Boston 106-104 on Christmas. Carmelo Anthony hit two free throws with 16 seconds left to break a tie and help the Knicks snap an eight-game losing streak to the Celtics.

While the victory over its long-time nemesis gave New York an immediate boost of confidence, that feeling quickly faded with Wednesday’s 92-78 loss to Golden State.

The Knicks led the Warriors by eight early in the second half, and the game was tied at 64 after three quarters, but Golden State scored 25 of the first 31 points of the fourth quarter to put the game away. Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, who combined for 58 points on 18 of 28 shooting in the opener, totaled 29 points on 8 of 27 shooting in the second game.

“I’m not making any excuses, but we’re a young team that’s coming together and we have to build,” said Tyson Chandler, who was held to two points and three rebounds. “Unfortunately, we’re learning things on the fly.”

New York now has the difficult task of trying to beat Los Angeles (1-2) for the first time since a 107-106 victory on Feb. 13, 2007.

The Knicks’ eight-game losing streak to the Lakers is their longest current skid against any opponent. Neither of last year’s meetings were close, with New York losing the two by an average of 19.5 points.

Both of those games, however, took place before the Knicks acquired Anthony from Denver. The four-time All-Star averaged 27.5 points in two games against the Lakers last season with the Nuggets. He only scored 13 on Wednesday.

Although New York is a far better team offensively with Anthony, it still needs to figure out a way to slow down Kobe Bryant. In the eight games against the Knicks since 2007-08, Bryant is averaging 34.1 points, his most against any team.

The 13-time All-Star had 26 points in Tuesday’s 96-71 victory over Utah for the Lakers’ first win of the season. Pau Gasol added 22 points and nine rebounds and Metta World Peace scored 14 to help Los Angeles avoid the franchise’s first 0-3 start since 1978-79.

“We’ve got a long way to go, it’s just one win,” World Peace said. “We’ve got to keep working, we’re still not satisfied, and we still have to improve.”

The Lakers saw great improvement from their defense, which limited the Jazz to 32.2 percent shooting and one 3-pointer on 13 attempts.

“The focus, the energy, the effort, that communication and trust that we brought defensively, was exciting to see,” said Mike Brown, who won his first game as Lakers coach.

Los Angeles opened the season playing three games in as many days - its only back-to-back-to-back stretch of the lockout-shortened season - and should greatly benefit from a day off. The Lakers are already hurting with Bryant nursing a torn ligament in his right wrist and Gasol wearing extra support for his sprained right shoulder.

“It still bothers me a little bit,” Gasol said of his injured shoulder, “but it felt better (Tuesday) than it did (Monday) so it seems like it’s under control.”

Gasol is averaging 20.4 points and 11.6 rebounds in his last five games against the Knicks.



Copyright 2011 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 Announcements
  • Andrew Bynum will miss today's game as he serves the fourth game of his four game suspension. Press Release
PROBABLE STARTERS
  Lakers    
  #3 Ebanks SF #7 Anthony  
  #6 McRoberts PF #1 Stoudemire  
  #16 Gasol C #6 Chandler  
  #24 Bryant SG #2 Fields  
  #2 Fisher PG #23 Douglas  



Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is day-to-day
Matt Barnes
(bursitis, left hip) is probable.
Derrick Caracter
(torn lateral meniscus, left knee) is out.
Pau Gasol
(sprained right shoulder) is day-to-day.
Josh McRoberts
(sprained left big toe and left thumb) is day-to-day.

Baron Davis
(Herniated Disc) is out.
Jared Jeffries
(Sore Right Calf) is out.
Iman Shumpert
(Sprained Right MCL) is out.



Game 1: 12/29 - NYK @ LAL
Game 2: 02/10 - LAL @ NYK


GAME NOTES

SEASON & SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers swept last season’s series with New York 2-0 for the 4th consecutive year. Dating back to the Minneapolis era, this will be the two teams’ 274th meeting and the 183rd 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 eight 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 8-2 in their last 10 games at Madison Square Garden. 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 28 career games (24 starts) against the Knicks, Bryant is averaging 26.5 points. Additionally, Devin Ebanks (born in Queens, NY) is a native 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 Lamar 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. Also, Knicks guard Tony Douglas was selected by the Lakers with the 29th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and was subsequently traded to New York for a future 2nd round draft pick and cash considerations while both Tyson Chandler (Dominguez HS) and Baron Davis (Crossroads HS, UCLA) grew up and played locally in high school/college in the Los Angeles area.


BRYANT 49 POINTS SHY OF 28,000 FOR HIS CAREER
With 26 points December 27th vs. Utah, Kobe Bryant (27,951) moved to within 49 points of 28,000 for his career. Bryant, the youngest player in league history to score 23,000 – 27,000 points, will be 33 years, 128 days old on Thursday, December 29 when the Lakers face New York. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, currently the youngest player to score 28,000 points in league history, reached the milestone back on April 13, 1982 when he was 34 years, 363 days of age. Wilt Chamberlain (34 years, 109 days), Michael Jordan (34 years, 333 days), the only guard in NBA history to score 28,000 points, Karl Malone (35 years, 212 days) and Shaquille O’Neal (37 years, 319 days) round out the top five. Additionally, in reaching 28,000 points, Bryant (1,106 games played thru 12/27/11) would become just the 6th player in NBA history to do so and is on pace to become the 5th fastest in terms of games. Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 28,000, doing so in 825 games, followed by Jordan (886), Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (1,008), Karl Malone (1,070) and Shaquille O’Neal (1,154). Last season, Bryant reached the 27,000 point milestone with his 28th point January 30 vs. Boston. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to 27,000 points in NBA history (32 years, 160 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 202 days) who reached the milestone back on March 11, 1969. Additionally, Bryant became the 8th player in NBA history to score 27,000 points and the 5th fastest to do so (1,069) in terms of games. Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 27,000, doing so in 780 games, followed by Jordan (852), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (965) and Karl Malone (1,035). The youngest player in league history to accumulate 18,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 27,000 points, Bryant was the 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000, 11th fastest to 23,000, 9th fastest to 24,000, 9th fastest to 25,000, 8th fastest to 26,000 points and 5th fastest to 27,000 points in terms of games.


UNCOMMON 0-2 START
With their loss at Sacramento on December 26th, the Lakers fell to 0-2 to start a season for the first time since opening the 2002-03 campaign with a pair of losses. The only team in the NBA that has gone longer since its last 0-2 start is Phoenix, who last started a season with two losses in 1996-97. This was the 11th time the Lakers have started a season 0-2 (2011-12, 2002-03, 1990-91, 1984-85, 1981-82, 1978-79, 1969-70, 1960-61, 1957-58, 1956-57 and 1953-54). In three of the previous 10 seasons in which they have started 0-2, the Lakers went on to win the NBA Championship (1954, 1982, 1985).


BRYANT NEARING SHAQUILLE O’NEAL FOR 5th ON NBA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (27,951) are Shaquille O’Neal (5th/28,596), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform. Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, 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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