A popular saying in basketball is “live by the three, die by the three”. On a night when the three-point shot didn’t fall for the New York Knicks, they found themselves victims to this old saying. The Los Angeles Lakers were the benefactors of the cold shooting, as they ran their winning streak to five games with an impressive 100-94 victory over the Knicks on Christmas Day.
The Knicks shot 34% percent from behind the arc in this game and were held to 42 % shooting overall for the game. Tyson Chandler, who is normally very efficient, was below 50% from the field as he shot 3-of-7 from the field in the game. The Knicks bench, normally one of the team’s strongest assets this year, was a non-factor outside of J.R. Smith’s 25 points. The team was also hurt by Raymond Felton being badly outplayed by LA’s Steve Nash. Felton shot 5-of-19 from the field and only finished with 10 points. The Knicks poor shooting continued at the free throw line where they only made 56% for the game. As a whole, the team attempted only 16 free throws to LA’s 31.
This was the third straight game in which the Lakers fought back from a 2nd half deficit to win. Kobe Bryant was sensational throughout the game as he led the team with 34 points. Metta World Peace played hard defense throughout the game making Carmelo Anthony work hard for his 34 points. World Peace came through on the offensive end himself scoring 20 points, most of them in the 2nd quarter, helping to keep LA in the game. Steve Nash was brilliant, scoring 16 points on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting to go along with 11 assists and six rebounds.
The Lakers finally moved back to .500 on the season with their win. The team has shown that they have the tenacity to come back and win close games and the victory will help them as they move forward. With Steve Nash getting more comfortable with his teammates, perhaps the Lakers will start to fulfill preseason expectations.
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