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Lakers flat in first half, fall to Knicks, 116-107

L.A. has lost six of last seven games. Carmelo Anthony scores 30 points before leaving in the third quarter with an ankle injury.

December 13, 2012|By Eric Pincus
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Knicks 116 - Lakers 107 (final)

The Lakers (9-14) lost their fourth-straight game on Thursday night, falling to the New York Knicks (17-5) 113-107.  After a dreadful first quarter — allowing 41 points — the Lakers fell behind by as many as 26 before finally gaining their bearings.

A late, long push saw the Lakers close within six late but the comeback fell short. Carmelo Anthony had a tremendous start, scoring 30 points in just 23 minutes but he left early in the third with an ankle injury.

Kobe Bryant finished with 31 points on 10-23 shooting. Both Metta World Peace (23) and Dwight Howard (20) had big scoring nights but the Lakers defense was once again the issue.

Devin Ebanks played 34 solid minutes, scoring 15 points while starting the second half in place of Antawn Jamison.

The Knicks had five scorers in double-figures, shot 53.2% from the field and 48% from three.  The Knicks had just six turnovers, but missed 10 free throws (20-30).

The Lakers were able to contain turnovers early, dominate the boards (43-33) and hit a very strong 25-29 from the line (86.2%) but had too large of a hill to climb after a miserable first half.

Knicks 93 - Lakers 80 (end of third quarter)

Devin Ebanks started the third quarter in place of Antawn Jamison, who started the game at power forward. Ebanks was asked to guard Carmelo Anthony, who left the game as a precautionary measure after injuring his ankle in the third.

The Lakers played their best quarter of the night, holding the Knicks to 25 points while scoring 31. A late 7-0 run got the Lakers within 13 after Kobe Bryant hit a three pointer to reach 22 points for the game.

The Knicks have shot 57.1% for the game, but the Lakers have dominated the boards with 36 to New York's 20. The Lakers have 13 turnovers to the Knicks' four.

Anthony is the game's leading scorer with 30. The Lakers shot 40.9% from the field through three.

Knicks 68 - Lakers 49 (halftime)

The Lakers were destroyed early by the Knicks in the second, falling behind by 26 before finally staging a small comeback. Finally tightening up defensively, the Lakers went on a 13-4 run to get the deficit down to just 15.

Much of that hard work was erased with defensive miscues that let the Knicks' lead swell back to 19 by halftime.

Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 26 points and the Knicks shot 61.4% from the field and 57.1% from three.

The Lakers, led by 16 from Dwight Howard and 13 from Kobe Bryant, hit 38.6% of their shots.  Howard hit 4-5 attempts from the line, little consolation for what was otherwise a forgettable half.

Knicks 41 - Lakers 27 (end of first quarter)

Carmelo Anthony exploded for 22 first-quarter points to give the New York Knicks an early 15-point lead.

The Knicks shot 73.9% from the field and 75% from three (3-4) as the Lakers gave little to no resistance defensively. Raymond Felton scored 10.

Kobe Bryant tried to keep the Lakers close on the offensive end, scoring a quick 13 points but with little to no defense the Lakers were easy prey for the high-scoring Knicks.

The Lakers shot 37.5% from the field. Dwight Howard, who played almost eight minutes before picking up his second foul, didn't collect a single rebound.

Pregame

The Lakers haven't been able to beat just about anyone recently. On Thursday night they face the only team in the league with a perfect home record (8-0) — the New York Knicks.

With Pau Gasol (knees), Steve Nash (leg) and Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) sitting out, can the Lakers (9-13) pull off the upset against the 16-5 Knicks?

Who would have predicted the Lakers to be an underdog at any point this season when they put such a high-profile roster together?

The Knicks have been able to overcome losing Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert to knee injuries.

For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Knicks.

ALSO:

A top-five seed may already be out of reach for the Lakers

Kobe Bryant leading Western Conference All-Star balloting

Kobe Bryant talks Lakers' struggles with Stephen A. Smith, Part 1

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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