NBA Game Summary - New York at LA Lakers
(Wednesday, November 16th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 97, New York 92
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in 42 points, 29 of which came in the second half, to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 97-92 victory over New York in a battle between two of the NBA's marquee head coaches at the Staples Center.
Bryant's performance took the spotlight away from the pregame hype surrounding the first meeting between legends Phil Jackson and Larry Brown since Brown's Detroit Pistons shocked Jackson's Lakers in five games to win the 2004 NBA Championship. However, Jackson leads Brown, 26-13, in regular season meetings.
Chris Mihm added 14 points and nine rebounds while Lamar Odom had 13 points and nine boards to help Los Angeles put an end to a three-game slide.
"It's nice to be back in the winning column again," said Jackson afterward. "I was pleased with the way (the Laker players) were able to work within the offense."
Rookie Channing Frye netted a career-high 21 points off the bench and Eddy Curry scored 17 for the Knicks, who entered the Staples Center on a two-game win streak. However, New York received a mere four points on 2-of-9 shooting from leading scorer Stephon Marbury, who did dish out 10 assists.
Los Angeles held a slim 49-47 edge at the half, but began to pull away in the early stages of the third quarter. The Lakers outscored New York 11-2 to start the session. After Odom completed a three-point play 2 1/2 minutes into the half to put the hosts up 58-49, Bryant sank two free throws to extend the margin to 11 points.
Los Angeles was up 78-66 in the waning stages of the third quarter, but back- to-back buckets from Jamal Crawford and two made foul shots by Malik Rose brought the Knicks within six by period's end.
Bryant then took over, as the All-Star guard recorded the first eight points of the fourth quarter, including a runner with 7:54 remaining that gave the Lakers a comfortable 86-72 lead.
Los Angeles was up by 11, 95-84, heading into the final minute before a Crawford short jumper and two Frye free throws got the Knicks within striking distance. However, Mihm sealed the win by hitting two foul shots with 35 seconds left.
Bryant put up 13 points in the first quarter, including a putback with 49 seconds to go that gave the Lakers a 27-21 lead. New York's Quentin Richardson would end the frame by draining a triple to make it a three-point game at the conclusion of the opening 12 minutes.
"The key was the boards," said Brown. "They got 28 (second-chance points) and we got six. Give (the Lakers) credit, they were really aggressive and their energy was great."
The Knicks forged ahead with a 12-0 second-quarter run, with Frye, David Lee and Jackie Butler each contributing four points, and went ahead 45-38 with 4:21 remaining in the half. However, Mihm netted six points during a 9-0 Lakers spurt over the next three minutes that reclaimed the advantage.
Frye finished the first half with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Lee finished with a career-best 10 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 25 minutes...New York is 2-3 on its six-game Western road swing which ends Friday in Denver...The Lakers have now won 11 of the last 14 meetings between the clubs...The Knicks' bench outscored Los Angeles' reserves 54-12...Lakers forward Slava Medvedenko will be sidelined approximately six weeks due to a herniated disc in his back.
11/17 01:35:28 ET