Lakers score 51 points in third quarter on way to blowout of Knicks
Xavier Henry scored 22 points, Nick Young hit five 3-pointers while scoring 20 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers dropped a franchise-record 51 points in the third quarter of their 127-96 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.
Kent Bazemore scored 18 points as the Lakers won consecutive games for the first time in more than three weeks with a phenomenal offensive effort against the Knicks, who have lost two straight after an eight-game winning streak.
Knicks President Phil Jackson watched his new team and his former club from a luxury suite high above the court.
Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points for the Knicks, who couldn’t stop the Lakers’ patchwork roster from hitting 18 3-pointers in the opener of New York’s five-game West Coast road trip.
Young hit five 3-pointers, and Jodie Meeks added four as Los Angeles finished one 3-pointer shy of the single-game club record.
With their postseason hopes hanging by a thread that gets thinner each day, the Knicks played the worst defensive quarter in the history of a franchise that once allowed Wilt Chamberlain to score 100 points. New York dropped three games behind Atlanta for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Jackson’s fiancee, Lakers executive Jeanie Buss, watched from the second row. The 11-time NBA champion coach arrived late at the building where he won five titles with the Lakers, who declined to re-hire him early last season, infuriating much of their fan base.
But the Lakers never had an offensive quarter under Jackson to match their 51-point effort for Mike D’Antoni, the former Knicks coach who got the Lakers’ job over Jackson.
The Lakers stretched their eight-point halftime lead to 30 by making 19 of their 26 shots in the third, including six 3-pointers. Nine players contributed a field goal to the spree, including nine points from Chris Kaman in his first game action in March.
With Pau Gasol sidelined by vertigo, Kaman had 13 points and nine rebounds. Steve Nash also sat out for the 17th time in the Lakers’ last 18 games.
Henry excelled despite a torn ligament in his left wrist, playing through the injury to his shooting hand.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points and Amare Stoudemire had 16 in the Knicks’ seventh straight road loss to the Lakers since 2007.
The Knicks also are assured of a losing season with their 42nd loss, and the Hawks have two games in hand in the playoff race.
The Lakers missed 13 of their 18 shots in a 14-point first quarter, but they rolled off a 22-4 run in 5 minutes to open the second quarter. Los Angeles made 11 of its first 13 shots, and Anthony missed his first seven shots for New York before a jumper late in the half.
Meeks and Jordan Hill then expanded the Lakers’ lead with a 12-0 run early in the third, shredding the Knicks’ defense from inside and out. Ryan Kelly’s 3-pointer stretched Los Angeles’ lead to 74-49 midway through the quarter.
NOTES: Young converted a four-point play in the third quarter. He has six of the Lakers’ nine four-point plays this season, both franchise records. … Gasol will be re-examined Wednesday before the Lakers determine whether he will travel with them to Milwaukee and Minnesota this week. … Metta World Peace, the former Knicks and Lakers forward, attended the game. New York waived the former Ron Artest on Feb. 24. He got a rousing ovation from the Staples Center crowd when he appeared on the scoreboard in the first half, and he sat in Jackson’s box during the second half.