The Los Angeles Lakers went into Basketball Mecca and came out looking as sharp as they have all year in a 121-107 victory over the New York Knicks. The Lakers played with great, consistent energy from the opening minutes, and a 17-3 run in the second quarter seemed to push the Knicks far enough into oblivion to keep this one out of question.
This was without a doubt one of the Lakers’ best wire-to-wire efforts of the season. Seven players reached double-digit scoring totals in a game that they appeared to be in full control of.
Head Coach Luke Walton went with a new starting lineup, bringing Julius Randle back in full swing while electing to bench Timofey Mozgov — who absorbed a DNP — in favor of Tarik Black. Randle was great in the 17 minutes he played, scoring 14 points and carrying the team a bit in the first half by breaking down the Knicks’ defense with his herky-jerky drives to the paint. Black made the most of his opportunity, bullying his way around the rim for nine points and 10 rebounds (6 offensive rebounds).
The Lakers outrebounded the Knicks by a significant margin (55-40), which is just one of the reasons they ran away with a rare road win. LA’s ball movement was fantastic, and while they only tallied 19 assists to the Knicks’ 16, their passing kept New York off balance. D’Angelo Russell scored just four points, but dished a game-high six assists.
Somehow, even with Russell’s meek night, Derrick Rose was an even more transparent ghost on the floor. He ended the night with five points, three assists and three turnovers. Carmelo Anthony was the only one keeping the Knicks in the game, but his scoring touch alone wasn’t enough to stop a rolling Lakers squad. He notched a game-high 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
The Lakers are off Tuesday before paying a visit to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Until then, friends...