Xavier Henry #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles as he is defended by Tim Hardaway Jr. #5 of the New York Knicks at Staples Center on March 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
On Tuesday night at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers set a couple records against the New York Knicks en route to an impressive 127-96 victory.
The Lakers scored 51 points in the third quarter, which was a franchise record for most points in a quarter for the home team, and it also happened to be a franchise record for the most points allowed in a quarter by the New York Knicks.
If the game was lost based on one quarter, that would have been something Knicks coach Mike Woodson could brush aside, but the Lakers outscored the Knicks in three of the four quarters.
Without Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash or Jordan Farmar available due to injury, the fresh faced Lakers were led by the likes of Nick Young, Kent Bazemore and Xavier Henry. Henry, who was playing despite a torn ligament in his wrist, led the team in scoring with 22 points on 8/11 from the field.
“I try to be the X-factor as much as I can,” Henry said after the game. “I know what type of game I have, what type of difference I can make, so whenever I get the opportunity, I just want to make the most of it.”
On a night when Knicks president Phil Jackson was in the building and Lakers president Jeanie Buss was sitting in the second row, the action on the floor trumped the big names in the stands and the star power on the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony, arguably the top free agent target of the upcoming summer, scored 29 points, but that hardly meant anything with his team losing by up to 33 points.
The Lakers did not possess stars, and that, in large part, allowed them to be successful. They passed the ball, they shared the offensive load and the Lakers’ team beat the Knicks’ individuals. Five Lakers scored in double-digits, no one on the Lakers attempted more than 11 shots and the team assisted on 31 of 48 made baskets.
Tuesday night was a team win.
Normally, the knock on the Lakers is defense, but LA held its opponent to under 100 points for the second straight game. Related, the Lakers won for the second game in a row. That also meant the fans got tacos for the second straight game.
They may end up being the worst Los Angeles Lakers team in history, but for one night, they showed how good they could have been if the injuries had not strangled this season. And that was without Nash, Bryant, Gasol and Farmar.