The Los Angeles Lakers began a 7-game span against teams with a record under .500, starting with the New York Knicks on Friday night. The Lakers didn’t play too well in their previous game against the Thunder, but solid defense throughout most of the game kept them close throughout. LA needed to couple that solid defense with better shooting against the Knicks in order to come out victorious.
Having JaVale McGee has certainly helped the past few days, giving the Lakers more depth with their big men.
LeBron James missed his fifth consecutive game due to a groin injury, as the Lakers are clearly not ready to rush him back just yet. Having JaVale McGee has certainly helped the past few days, giving the Lakers more depth with their big men. We’ve seen Ivica Zubac continue his productivity, now coming off the bench.
The Lakers were also forced to do without Kyle Kuzma due to back contusions, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope joining the depleted starting lineup.
The second quarter saw more hot shooting from the Knicks, but the Lakers managed to cut the deficit down to 4 points, going into halftime down 63-59.
In the first quarter, the Knicks were making it rain early and didn’t look back as they went into the second quarter up 39-25. The second quarter saw more hot shooting from the Knicks, but the Lakers managed to cut the deficit down to 4 points, going into halftime down 63-59.
The Lakers didn’t shoot well in the fourth quarter, allowing the Knicks to make a late comeback to steal this game 119-112.
The Lakers continued their comeback effort in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks 33-23 as they took a 6-point lead heading into the final quarter. The Lakers didn’t shoot well in the fourth quarter, allowing the Knicks to make a late comeback to steal this game 119-112.
The Lakers saw solid production from Brandon Ingram (21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal), KCP (19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists), JaVale McGee (18 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block) and Lonzo Ball (17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block). Ivica Zubac added 10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and one block off the bench.
Lonzo Ball opened the scoring for the Lakers with a three-pointer as both teams swapped long-range shots. Turnovers haunted the Lakers early, while the Knicks got off to a 9-3 start. Ingram got the Lakers back on the scoreboard, but it was quickly met by the Knicks’ third long range shot just minutes in.
The Lakes wouldn’t score until 5:30 left on the clock as New York continued to score
The shooting woes continued for the Lakers, but the threes were draining for the Knicks as they brought their lead to 15-5, forcing LA into their first timeout. The Lakes wouldn’t score until 5:30 left on the clock as New York continued to score, but KCP hit a three-pointer that was quickly followed by a three from Ball to make it 24-11 in favor of NY.
A driving dunk by Zubac gave the Lakers some momentum entering the final two minutes of the quarter.
After Ball missed two consecutive free throws, Josh Hart drove and converted an and-one to make it a 10-point game. Lonzo Ball brought the deficit to single-digits with a driving layup as the Knicks decided to take a timeout. A driving dunk by Zubac gave the Lakers some momentum entering the final two minutes of the quarter.
In those two minutes, Enes Kanter heated up, but free throws from Zubac and an and-one by KCP kept the Lakers down 10. Zubac scored another basket down low, but the Lakers still ended the half down by 14 points.
Q1 Score: Los Angeles Lakers 25 - 39 New York Knicks
Q1 MVP: Ivica Zubac (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists)
Tyson Chandler’s two free throws were the first points of the second quarter. Michael Beasley saw some early action with a layup, followed by an and-one by Ingram to keep the Knicks down 10. Back to back buckets by Chandler and Stevenson cut into the Knicks’ lead. New York hit a few shots, but momentum was still high for the Lakers after a behind-the-back pass by Stevenson led to a dunk by Ingram.
Back-to-back threes from Lonzo and KCP cut the deficit to just 4 points, leading to a timeout called by New York.
The Knicks went on a 6-2 run as the Lakers began to fall behind again, but free throws from Beasley and a layup by McGee kept it interesting. Back-to-back threes from Lonzo and KCP cut the deficit to just 4 points, leading to a timeout called by New York.
In the final three minutes of the first half, the Knicks continued to hit their shots, but a layup by McGee, free throws and a three-pointer by KCP, and a last-second layup by Ingram kept the Lakers down just 4 points.
Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram combined for 8 turnovers in the first half, but the Lakers bench provided 18 points to keep the game close.
Halftime Score: Los Angeles Lakers 59 - 63 New York Knicks
Q2 MVP: Michael Beasley (6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist)
The second half opened up with a 4-0 run by the Knicks, but was put to rest by a jumper from KCP. Two consecutive buckets by McGee made it a 5-point game, while an and-one from Ingram cut it down to 3. KCP put an end to a small run by the Knicks by scoring off a three-pointer.
With Zubac back on the floor, he didn’t waste any time before scoring a bucket down, followed by a block that led to a fast break jumpshot by Ingram and three by Svi.
McGee got back in the action with four straight buckets down low for the Lakers, making it 83-81 with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. With Zubac back on the floor, he didn’t waste any time before scoring a bucket down, followed by a block that led to a fast break jumpshot by Ingram and three by Svi. The Lakers were up 88-84.
In the final two minutes, Stephenson dished out another beautiful assist to Ivica Zubac down low, and Ingram connected on a last-second jumper to end the quarter with a 6-point Lakers’ lead.
Q3 Score: Los Angeles Lakers 92 - 86 New York Knicks
Q3 MVP: Ingram/McGee (23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block)
The final quarter started with a 5-0 run by the Knicks, but a three-pointer by Josh Hart and a layup by Stevenson conserved the Lakers’ lead. Los Angeles was finding good shots early on, but they weren’t falling for them as the Knicks tied the game back up. Stevenson answered with another layup to take the lead.
the refs were calling the game in favor of New York as they continued to hit free throws.
Ball hit a three-pointer as the lead changes started to pile up. Shortly after, an and-one by Ingram gave the Lakers the lead again, but the refs were calling the game in favor of New York as they continued to hit free throws. Stephenson and McGee each scored buckets down low as both teams traded blows.
With a minute left, Lonzo Ball hit a three-pointer to bring it within 2 points.
The Knicks started to pull away in the closing minutes, going down 5 points with 1:40 remaining, leading to a timeout by LA. With a minute left, Lonzo Ball hit a three-pointer to bring it within 2 points. A goaltending by McGee brought it back to 4 points, followed by another turnover by Lonzo -- leading to an easy shot down low by Kanter.
The Lakers couldn’t hit any threes to close this game out, as the Knicks stole the victory from the Lakers in the fourth quarter.
Final Score: Los Angeles Lakers 112 - 119 New York Knicks
Q4 MVP: Ball/Stephenson (12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)
Without LeBron James, among other injuries, the Lakers are finding it tough to begin and close games, which has been making the difference over these past few games.
The Los Angeles Lakers got off to a slow start, but picked it up in the second and third quarters, just to have the game taken from them in the fourth quarter. Without LeBron James, among other injuries, the Lakers are finding it tough to begin and close games, which has been making the difference over these past few games.
The Lakers shot 44% from the field, 30% from long range, and 75% from the charity stripe. They added 55 rebounds, 12 offensive rebounds, 23 assists, 4 steals, 7 blocks, 17 turnovers, 20 fast break points, 60 points in the paint, and 27 personal fouls.
Los Angeles will have another day of rest before their next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. At 21-18 on the season, the Lakers will need a winning streak soon to keep playoff hopes alive. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news and recaps, and if you enjoyed this recap, share it!
by Ryan Brennan