New York Knicks Outlast LeBron’s 109th Triple-Double as They Hold Off Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Showdown
Los Angeles—Jalen Brunson scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the New York Knicks overcame LeBron James who achieved his 109th career triple-double for a 114-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. Julius Randle managed 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Immanuel Quickley contributed 20 points as the Knicks stayed strong in the final minutes to fight off a late rally by James. New York finished the Western portion of its five-game road trip with a 2-2 record. “We took a step forward tonight, and we’re going to try to keep moving forward,” Brunson said. “We’re learning how to bounce back, but we’ve got to continue to stack wins. You can’t be comfortable after just one. Keep stacking them, keep being resilient and just stick together.” LeBron ended with 25 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost three of their last four games following their In-Season Tournament win. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but the Lakers could not take advantage of several late opportunities to reduce the deficit. Los Angeles’ supporting cast struggled as the other Lakers players had only a 33.3% shooting percentage. “It’s very rare that we get outscored in the paint, but (the Knicks) were deliberate in trying to play downhill, get to the paint, and just constantly attacking,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. Randle scored 16 points in the first half against his former team, while Brunson recorded three 3-pointers in a strong all-around game. Although the Knicks are playing without injured center Mitchell Robinson, they still managed to win despite big man Jericho Sims who sprained his ankle early against the Lakers. Austin Reaves scored 20 points for the Lakers, who couldn’t secure a win despite the return of Davis, D’Angelo Russell, and Cam Reddish from injury. “It’s tough, (because) for the whole month of December, we’ve basically been on the road,” Davis said. “There’s nothing we can really do about it. It’s the schedule. We’ve just got to take care of our bodies and get some guys back, hopefully in the next couple of games. But it’s definitely a mental challenge.” The Lakers unveiled a banner commemorating their unbeaten run through the In-Season Tournament before their first home game since Dec. 5. The low-key black banner, next to the five Minneapolis Lakers championship banners, is planned to add more future championship years. Nonetheless, it is currently displayed in a less prominent spot on the north wall of the downtown arena, which is mainly dominated by Los Angeles’ 12 gold title banners. Up next, the Knicks will play at Brooklyn on Wednesday, while the Lakers will visit Chicago on the same day.