Lakers
Knicks
95 - 90 Final
  for this game

Bryant sinks 39 in record performance as Lakers edge Knicks

Dec 23, 2007 - 9:47 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant scored 39 points Sunday afternoon and became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 20,000-point mark as the Los Angeles Lakers held on for a 95-90 victory over the New York Knicks.

Bryant shot 14-of-28 from the floor and also hauled in 11 rebounds and dished out eight assists for the Lakers, who nearly squandered a 25-point lead but concluded a four-game road trip with a win.

Andrew Bynum added 13 points and was the only other player in double figures for the Lakers, whose only loss on the four-game Eastern swing was a four-point defeat Thursday in Cleveland.

Bryant made his first appearance in New York since scoring 40 on January 31, 2006. He missed last year's five-point loss due to a one-game suspension, and Saturday he revealed to reporters that the Knicks were one of the four teams he asked to be traded to during the offseason.

Before Sunday's noon start, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said that the Knicks never really had a chance in obtaining Bryant, whose trade demands have since diminished.

Bryant had 17 points at halftime as Los Angeles opened a 55-37 lead. He could have reached the milestone before the break but hit 20,000 when he buried a 3-pointer in front of the Knicks' bench less than a minute into the second half.

Bryant joined Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan as the only players to reach 20,000 points before turning 30.

"It is special to do it here," Bryant said. "The culture of basketball here, it is the mecca, it is special to do it in Madison Square Garden. It feels good. This is my favorite place to play."

"He's the best player in the game right now," Lakers guard Jordan Farmar said. "He does it every night. He works very hard. We get to see firsthand and that's not very surprising."

Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 31 points and also led their comeback in the fourth. He scored 30 points after halftime and 14 in the fourth.

"Jamal had an incredible second half," Bryant said. "They made a great surge to get back into the ballgame and had an opportunity to try to steal this one from us."

New York trailed by as many as 25 before cutting it to 89-83 after Lamar Odom was whistled for a flagrant foul on Crawford with 3:41 remaining.

"We are competing trying to get a win," Crawford said. "That is what we did. We really got after it."

Crawford sank the foul shots and then hit a runner in the lane before getting fouled by Bryant with 3:01 left.

Crawford then continued New York's comeback by hitting three foul shots, cutting the deficit to 89-86. He cut it to three again with another runner, and after Odom was called for an offensive foul, the Knicks had a chance for the tie or to make it a one-point game.

They did so as David Lee made two foul shots with 1:55 left. Bryant missed a long 3-pointer and the Knicks grabbed the rebound, but Crawford missed a 3-pointer.

Ronny Turiaf put in a missed Bryant shot for a 93-90 edge with 57.6 seconds remaining.

After a timeout, Lee inbounded to Crawford but he missed a leaner. The Lakers seemed on their way to adding to it but Bryant turned it over, giving the Knicks another chance.

New York failed to capitalize as Malik Rose was called for an offensive foul with 31 seconds left.

Bryant missed again and with 4.2 seconds remaining Crawford called a 20-second timeout.

After New York called its final timeout, Lee inbounded to Nate Robinson but the pass was stolen by Farmar, who coasted in for a dunk.

"We were going to foul before they could get a shot off and play the free throw game with them," Farmar said. "We knew we had some good free throw shooters. Kobe was really hot and we were going to try and get him the ball.

"But I think my teammate got a hand on it first and I just saw it lingering in the air. I was going to try to get the steal regardless. It was right there and I just punched it loose."

Lee claimed he was unhappy with the end of the contest but also admitted that the Knicks dug themselves a major hole.

"I am a little frustrated with how the final play went," Lee said. "Unfortunately we have gotten in the habit of getting down 20 points in the first half.

"When you are down by 20, you can't afford to make any mistakes in the fourth."

The Knicks fell to 8-19, tying Miami and Memphis for the NBA's second-worst record. They have dropped eight of their last 10 overall.

"The second half we defended, the first half we didn't," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "It really is as simple as that. We gave ourselves a chance to win the basketball game in the second half. We almost had to play perfect basketball."








  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 95
    NEW YORK 90 FINAL

    Dec 23 2:32 PM
  • 53
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 33 roots (Close Finish)

    Lakers vs. KnicksDec 23 2:25 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Lakers vs. KnicksDec 23 2:18 PM


  • NBA
    END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    LA LAKERS 31 24 20 75
    NEW YORK 21 16 24 61 END 3RD QTR
    HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
    LAL - KOBE BRYANT 26, ANDREW BYNUM 13, LAMAR
    ODOM 9
    NYK - JAMAL CRAWFORD 17, ZACH RANDOLPH 11,
    NATE ROBINSON 10

    Dec 23 1:54 PM


  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 55
    NEW YORK 37 HALFTIME

    Dec 23 1:09 PM


  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 31
    NEW YORK 21 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 23 12:36 PM
  • mosskidd92 LAKERS BLOW..KNICKS BABY

    Lakers vs. KnicksDec 23 12:29 PM