This afternoon, the New York Knicks visited the Los Angeles Lakers in a Christmas Day matinee. Unfortunately, the Knicks were issued their eighth loss of the year, while the Lakers improve to .500.
The first quarter was pretty uneventful, aside from a gorgeous 4/5 pick-and-roll alley-oop from Pau Gasol to Dwight Howard. Despite allowing the Lakers to shoot nearly 50% from the floor, while only connecting on 38% of their shot attempts, the Knicks were only down two points after one quarter. Believe it or not, Kurt Thomas was probably the Knicks’ best player in the quarter, nailing all three of his shot attempts and grabbing two rebounds. For the first time this season, Thomas looked like a player that could actually contribute.
26-26 in the second. J.R. Smith gave the Knicks 10 points, while Metta World Peace gave the Lakers 16 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting. Nothing to really report home from this quarter.
In the third, the Knicks looked like they were about to run away with it, as they jumped out on a 12-2 run. However, they let the Lakers cut the defect, and found themselves leading by just one. Melo was insane, dropping 17 third-quarter points, but the Knicks’ inability to put the Lakers away was what came back and killed them. Up nine, the Knicks had the chance to extend the lead to double-digits, but 11 points from Kobe and 8 points from Nash, the Knicks’ lead was cut, rather than extended.
The Knicks scored just 16 points in the fourth quarter. 16. This game was lost in the third, but the poor fourth quarter execution and lack of defense sure didn’t help.
- Steve Novak’s face connected with Metta World Peace’s elbow, which resulted in Novakaine getting KO’d.
- The refs were horrible, on both ends. My favorite, though, was seeing Jason Kidd pull his jersey over his mouth to filter what the refs were able to hear:
- Speaking of the refs, credit Mike D’Antoni’s defense, but this out of bounds call was huge. And, obviously, wrong.
- Finally, this drive to the bucket from Melo was beautiful:
The Knicks are in action again tomorrow night against the Phoenix Suns, so they’ll quickly get the opportunity to get back on the winning track.