On Christmas Day at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Knicks (20-8) were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers (14-14) by the score of 100-94. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 34 points on 13-23 shooting from the field with seven rebounds and three assists.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers in scoring with 34 points on 14-24 shooting from the field and added five rebounds. Steve Nash, in only his second game back from injury, had 16 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.
Outside of J.R. Smith, the Knicks bench only scored seven points tonight. Four of those points from Marcus Camby, who played eight minutes, in his return to action from a foot injury.
Kurt Thomas got the start over Ronnie Brewer, scoring six points and not missing a shot in the first quarter. Thomas played only 13 minutes, while Brewer only played eight.
The Knicks were 9-16 from the free throw line, which is 56% while the Lakers were 21-31 which is 68%.
The Lakers outscored the Knicks 46-26 in the Paint.
The Knicks are now 17-25 all time on Christmas while the Lakers are now 17-17.
The Knicks are now 8-6 on the Road and only 2-4- on the road against the Western Conference.
The Knicks have caught the Lakers this season at their lowest and then at their highest this season. The Lakers team that we saw in New York less than two weeks ago was not the same team that we saw today, and is a major understatement. The return of Steve Nash running the point and Pau Gasol to be another big man to go with Dwight Howard, really helped make the Lakers a more confident and tougher team to face. The Knicks had trouble closing quarters, went ice cold from the field in the fourth quarter, and at times got burned by some clutch possessions late from the Lakers. This is a tough, and I think, frustrating loss for the Knicks, but thankfully they get right back to work tomorrow against the Suns.
Just a couple of points from the Knicks stand point that I saw from today’s game.
– Raymond Felton is really struggling and with him admitting both hands are hurt, I wonder if maybe he should sit out the final two games of the road trip and get healthy.
– Tyson Chandler is at his best running the pick and roll with Felton. But, when Felton struggles, it can Chandler a non factor. He has been so good recently, but today he was a non factor and that is part of the reason the Knicks didn’t score in the paint.
– J.R. Smith’s three point attempt late in the fourth quarter, with the Knicks down 97-94 was a horrific shot. The execution on both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter was poor from the Knicks.
– The Knicks bench has been so good for them this season.But, only scoring seven points, outside of Smith’s 25, is not going to get it done.
– Carmelo Anthony had another brilliant game scoring wise, but only took three shots in the fourth quarter. That can’t happen in a game that was close throughout. That is on Felton who, as a “Posting and Toasting” commenter said, takes “Cold Check” shots.
– Blaming the refs for some of the calls against the Knicks is easy. But, I wont go there this time. Both teams, I think, had a right to be annoyed with the Refs today.
The Knicks played a game that I think most can agree they should have won, but just didn’t finish and let the Lakers defend their home court. They will get right back to it with a couple of games, against the Suns and Kings they should win, but winning on the road, is never easy. At the end of the day, we should all have confidence they will bounce back, because they have every time this season.
Coming up next, the Knicks get right back to action, playing the second game of this three game trip against, Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and the Phoenix Suns. The game will begin at 9:00 pm on Wednesday and will be shown on MSG and NBA TV.