The Los Angeles Lakers received some much-needed help with two of their starters returning, but couldn’t capitalize on being closer to full health in a 118-112 loss to the New York Knicks. Derrick Rose put the game on ice in the final 19.4 seconds, hitting a floater over the top of his former teammate Luol Deng.
Russell looked out of sync in his return, playing in two separate stints while head coach Luke Walton eased him back into the starting lineup. D’Angelo played just 16 minutes, not scratching the scoreboard until the third quarter. He finished shooting just one-of-eight, with five assists and four turnovers.
Russell’s turnovers in the third quarter stood out during a rough stretch for him, but the team started giving away possessions as a whole through the second half after doing a good job protecting the ball to start.
Luol Deng had his best game as a Laker, making five of his eight three-point attempts for a season-high 22 points. Carmelo Anthony had a relatively quiet game, scoring 13 points, but the Knicks’ offense leaned elsewhere. Brandon Jennings scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, hitting back-breaking shots down the stretch.
Rose was completely locked in. He abused the Lakers from mid-range, driving toward the Lakers’ bigs and draining floater after floater. Rose finished the night with 25 points on an efficient 12-of-16. Kristaps Porzingis made his massive presence felt, blocking seven shots with 26 points and 12 rebounds to go with his defensive effort.
The Lakers’ defense got roasted, their offense wasn’t good enough to keep up and the losing streak extended to six games. Their seven-game road trip begins Monday night in Sacramento.