After the first quarter of play the Lakers led the Knicks by score of 31-24. Between New York's big 3, they had 21 of the Knicks' 24 points. Can you imagine that? But what makes it even more interesting is that Landry Fields opened the game with a 3-pointer for the Knicks. So, after Fields hit the opening 3-pointer for the team, the Knicks didn't get another point from anyone outside of their big 3. Do you wonder why the Lakers led at the end of 1st quarter by 8?
The Lakers, who I claim have 3 big stars, too, have a much better bench than the Knicks and they had 5 players score in the 1st quarter: 4 starters and 1 bench player.
Mid-way through the 2nd quarter the Lakers built a lead of 14 points as the scoring pattern continued for the Knicks. Up to the halfway point of the quarter the Knicks' other players had scored a combined 10 points between them. Finally, Steve Novak hit a 3-pointer for the Knicks to pull to within 11 points of the Lakers. And consider that the Lakers are playing with only 2 of their big 3, as Andrew Bynum fulfills his suspension.
At the midway point of the game the Knicks' big 3 had 38 of the teams 51 points. The Knicks had 4 players, outside the big 3, who scored 3 points each. The point? It's hard to beat anyone with only 3 players. Plus, to give up 63 points in a half? That is not good defense in any shape or form.
At the half the Lakers led the Knicks 63-51 as the Lakers' bench scored 25 points.
The third quarter started out pretty slow for both teams. With 2:58 left in the quarter the Lakers had outscored the Knicks 11-10. Can you imagine that? After only giving up 11 points in the quarter to the Lakers, the Knicks fell another point behind from the halftime score.
The Knicks were able to score 10 points in the final 2:58 minutes to cut the Lakers lead to 8 points at 80-72, thanks to a Novak 3-pointer with 2 seconds to go in the quarter. The Lakers bench didn't score a point in the quarter.
The Lakers open the 4th quarter scoring with 4 points as Josh McRoberts gets his second alley-oop of the game. Can you imagine that? 2 alley-oops for McRoberts in the same game? lol! How's that for the Knicks' defense?
Halfway through the 4th quarter the Lakers have only scored 7 points, but still build their lead to 87-75 as the Knicks have only scored 3 points in the quarter.
Suddenly, the Lakers extended their lead to 97-77, as the Lakers go on a 10-2 run with 2:39 remaining in the game.
With 2 minutes remaining the Lakers put Luke Walton and Devin Ebank in the game for Bryant and Gasol as, in the mind of coach Brown, victory is assured.
The final score: Los Angeles Lakers 99 New York Knicks 82.
Post Game Comments
So early in the season, what can we take away from this game?
For the Knicks it has to be this: you can't spend all your salary cap money on 3 players and expect to win games.
For the Lakers: they are not as bad off as some people make them out to be. The Lakers are 2-2 without Andrew Bynum, but could easily be 3-1 if it weren't for the Bulls pulling out a win in the season opener.
The Lakers, when Bynum comes back in their next game, will have a pretty good bench with Peace, McRoberts, Murphy, Blake, and Barns filling in for the starters.
Looking around the league, there aren't too many teams that have 3 stars and a decent bench as the make-up of their roster. The new CBA is hard to get around. But, there are teams with balanced rosters without the 3 star model, but, how all that works out in this lock-out shortened season; it's hard to tell. But, the Lakers are not in bad shape at all.