Despite earning their first win against the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to begin a victorious streak against the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony, who is trying to rediscover his stroke and find consistency, was the Knicks' greatest offensive weapon, scoring a game-high 24 points and shooting 8 of 20. In addition, he tracked down eight rebounds and passed two assists.
Continuing to win the hearts of Knicks fans is the Latvian rookie, Kristaps Porzingis. With his third double-double of the early season, he scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, working toward proving that he is indeed NBA-ready. His mate in the frontcourt, Robin Lopez, also recorded a double-double, with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Coach Derek Fisher defended his rookie after a call he disagreed with. Around the seven-minute mark of the third quarter, Porzingis fouled Kobe Bryant on the three-point line, granting him three free throws. Angry and vocal, Fisher expressed his disagreement with the referees. He was quickly ejected out of the game after receiving a double technical.
Marred by injury, shooting guard Arron Afflalo sat out again during Sunday’s game, hoping to return on Tuesday in Toronto or Wednesday in Charlotte. Sasha Vujačić, the starting shooting guard, only played 15 minutes and scored a mere five points. Upon his return and replacing Vujačić in the starting lineup, Afflalo will add a different dimension to the New York offense.
Langston Galloway seized a lot of Vujačić’s minutes, coming off the bench and scoring 14 points in 27 minutes. When both clubs were cold, he hit a pivotal three-pointer to get a two-point lead in the final minutes.
Kobe Bryant was not the standout player in purple and gold, only scoring 18 points, sinking six of his 19 attempts. Roy Hibbert played exceptionally, however, scoring 18 points, adding 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Los Angeles’ second-year power forward Julius Randle had a difficult time scoring. The big man, who has been very impressive so far, had a difficult time scoring in his 30 minutes of play - only netting six points. Rookie D’Angelo Russell also had a difficult time, scoring only six points in 28 minutes. Regardless of those struggles, the game remained close until the end. After Carmelo Anthony netted crucial free throws, the Lakers were unable to complete a late game rally.
This win pushed the Knicks to a 3-4 record and sunk the Lakers lower to a nightmarish 1-5 record.
After defending their home against the Lakers, the New York Knicks will travel to Toronto to face Kyle Lowry and the Raptors. The Knicks sit behind the Raptors in the Atlantic Division, so they have an opportunity to close the gap between them and a division rival. The Los Angeles Lakers will continue their road trip south to face Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.