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Lakers use height to their advantage in victory over Knicks

Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom control the game against smaller New York, although Bynum is ejected in the fourth quarter.

January 10, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Knicks center Amare Stoudemire tries to disrupt the dribble of Lakers power forward Pau Gasol on Sunday evening at Staples Center.
Knicks center Amare Stoudemire tries to disrupt the dribble of Lakers power… (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters )

The New York Knicks entered Sunday night's game averaging 108.1 points per game, tops in the NBA.

The Knicks like to run up and down the court. They like to shoot three-pointers. They like to spread the court.

None of that worked against the Lakers.

Instead, it was the Lakers who used their advantages to defeat the Knicks, 109-87, at Staples Center.

"We used our size," the 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom said.

That turned out to be a big advantage for the Lakers.

They turned to 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to control the game.

The smaller Knicks didn't start a player taller than 6-10 Amare Stoudemire. That allowed the Lakers to punish the Knicks inside.

The Lakers scored 50 points in the paint compared with the 30 the Knicks scored.

Bynum had 18 points on eight-for-15 shooting before he was ejected early in the fourth quarter after getting two technical fouls.

Gasol had 20 points on five-for-13 shooting.

Odom had 13 points on four-for-nine shooting.

"We took good shots," Odom said. "We tried to hurt them on the boards as much as possible tonight."

Yes, the backboards, another telling sign of the Lakers' success.

The Lakers had 61 rebounds to New York's 42.

The Lakers had 17 offensive rebounds: six by Odom, five by Gasol and three by Bynum.

"They are a small team, so we have to take advantage of our size," Bynum said. "They came out in the beginning and tried to play their game, using their quickness with their small team. But it didn't work out."

The Lakers also had six blocked shots.

Gasol had four and Bynum had two.

"I think we were active," Gasol said. "We stuck to our defensive assignments today. We talked, we communicated and we contested most of their shots. We ran back on defense. So, that's why we were successful. We controlled the defensive rebounding pretty well."

When the game was over, Bynum tried to explain why he was ejected.

He had just blocked a shot by Stoudemire, but Bynum was called for a foul by referee Leon Wood.

Bynum said something to Wood, who gave the young center a technical foul.

A few moments later, Bynum said something else to Wood, who gave Bynum another technical foul and ejected him with 11:26 left.

Bynum walked around before he went to the locker room.

"I just said, 'Are you serious?' " said Bynum, talking about why he was called for the foul. "… I just said, 'Are you serious?' You could read my lips on the telecast."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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