NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 29th (All times eastern)
New York Knicks (29-40) at Los Angeles Lakers (32-37), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two of the NBA's biggest disappointments meet tonight, as the reeling Los Angeles Lakers welcome the New York Knicks to the Staples Center.
Los Angeles comes into the game having lost eight straight games. The skid is the longest for the Lakers since they dropped 10 in a row in 1993-94. The Lakers are in serious danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 1994, as they trail the red-hot Denver Nuggets by six games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. LA is scheduled to play seven of its final 13 games on the road, and only three of the contests are against teams with below .500 records and 12 of the games are against clubs from the West.
The Lakers continued their losing ways on Sunday. All-Star Allen Iverson scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and matched a career-high with 15 assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Lakers, 96-89, at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant had 34 points and 10 boards for Los Angeles in the loss.
Tied at 78-78, the Sixers scored six straight points to take control. Bryant then scored five consecutive points to pull the Lakers within one, 84-83, with a little over four minutes to play. That would be as close as LA would get, as Philadelphia closed the game on a 12-6 run to cruise to the seven-point win.
The Lakers, who started a three-game homestand on Sunday, fell to 21-14 on their court. LA will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday in the finale of the stand.
After Thursday's contest, the Lakers embark on a three-game road trip that starts on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs at the SBC Center. LA will also play the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns on the swing.
Bryant has scored 30 or more points in three of his last four games and has played 39 or more minutes in all of the contests. He is averaging 26.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists in his last 10 games.
The Knicks are also barely hanging on to their playoff lives, as they trail the Philadelphia 76ers by 5 1/2 games for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
New York plays the finale of a four-game road trip tonight. The Knicks are 0-3 on the current swing.
On Monday, Baron Davis finished with 33 points and nine assists and Troy Murphy added 19 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 108-100 victory over the Knicks at the Arena.
Stephon Marbury posted 31 points and eight assists for the Knicks, who have dropped three straight and four of their last six games overall. Maurice Taylor added 17 points, while Jamal Crawford and Tim Thomas each netted 13 points. Kurt Thomas collected 12 points and 14 boards in the loss.
New York is a dismal 8-26 on the road this season.
This is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On February 28th, New York knocked off the Lakers, 117-115, in overtime at Madison Square Garden. With the victory, the Knicks snapped a two-game series losing streak.
Overall, the Lakers have won five of seven and eight of the last 12 meetings in this series. New York has lost two of three and five of its last seven at the Lakers.
03/29 10:40:37 ET