NBA Game Summary - New York at LA Lakers
(Tuesday, March 29th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 117, New York 107
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 32 points, as the Los Angeles Lakers halted their eight-game losing streak with a 117-107 victory over the New York Knicks at the Staples Center.
Caron Butler netted 26 points for the Lakers, who now trail the Denver Nuggets by 5 1/2 games for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Devean George came off the bench and tallied a season-high 18 points in the victory.
Stephon Marbury scored a season-high 45 points for New York, which has dropped four straight and continues to cling to fading playoff hopes. The Knicks sit six games behind the Philadelphia 76ers with 12 games to play. Kurt Thomas added 18 points and 15 rebounds in the losing effort.
"Tonight, Marbury was lights-out," said Lakers head coach Frank Hamblen.
Starting the second half with a 51-46 advantage, the Lakers steadily built their lead throughout the third quarter.
Just under the nine-minute mark, Butler posted two straight buckets for a 58-52 lead before a Bryant layup made it an eight-point advantage.
The Knicks pulled within five when Jamal Crawford drained a three-pointer, but the Lakers responded with five straight points for a 70-60 edge with just under five minutes to go in the frame.
After Trevor Ariza's layup cut New York's deficit to 78-72, LA received two free throws apiece from Bryant and Luke Walton to restore the 10-point lead and eventually led 86-79 after three quarters of action.
Several times during the final quarter, the Knicks were within single-digits, but after Chucky Atkins drilled a three-pointer with 2:40 to go for a 109-98 lead, New York never seriously threatened again.
"We needed a win desperately," said Hamblen. "Everyone played well."
This was the longest skid for the Lakers since they dropped 10 in a row in 1993-94...Bryant has now scored 30 or more points in four of his last five games...New York finished winless on its four-game road swing...Overall, the Lakers have won six of the last eight meetings in this series...The Knicks shot 50 percent from beyond the arc...Crawford ended with 16 points and drained 5-of-11 from three-point range.
03/30 01:32:55 ET