J.R. Smith had a solid 16 points off the bench for the Knicks. Credit: Getty Images
The Knicks didn’t need a virtuoso performance from Carmelo Anthony this time, but he still gave them enough to stave off the Lakers, 110-103.
Anthony, who tallied a Knicks record 62 points in the team’s Friday night win over the Bobcats, registered a game-high 35 points in Sunday’s matinee. Anthony’s game was rather efficient as he shot 14-of-31, while also grabbing four rebounds. And unlike Friday night’s game, Anthony also got into the assist column with five helpers.
He wasn’t alone, however, as four other players surpassed double digits in scoring. Point guard Raymond Felton had 20 points, center Tyson Chandler added 13 points and 14 rebounds, while reserve guards J.R. Smith and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in with 16 and 18 points respectively.
The Lakers (16-29) were led by center Pau Gasol’s 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Gasol also had a great support group as shooting guard Jodie Meeks registered 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including six 3s, and an unlikely contribution from reserve guard Manny Harris, who tallied 18 points. Harris is in the midst of his second 10-day contract, but showed he may be able to stick around longer after shooting 6-of-9 in just 19 minutes of action.
What we saw ...
1. The Garden faithful didn’t get to see Kobe Bryant, but they got an eyeful of the only other two-time champion on the Lakers’ roster, Paul Gasol. The maligned center, who stays in and out of trade rumors, showed his value by notching 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Gasol also added 13 rebounds and four assists as he was the only Laker big man to have any kind of impact on the game.
2. The Knicks very rarely best a team on the glass, so Sunday should be celebrated for the way they held their own in the paint. While they were outscored 39-30 in the paint, they could take great pride in knowing they beat the Lakers on the boards, 45-35. The victory on the glass was a concerted effort as every player who checked into the game registered a rebound. Chandler led the way for the Knicks with a game-high 14 caroms.
3. The Knicks showed far better scoring balance against the Lakers than in the Charlotte game, as Anthony wasn’t alone. Two other starters reached double figures — including Felton and Chandler — while the bench also featured two players surpassing the mark, including Smith (16 points) and rookie guard Hardaway Jr. (18 points).
Knicks notes ...
» The Lakers entered the game allowing 106 points per game, which is 29th in the league, and remained consistent in that category by allowing wide-open looks for most of the afternoon.
» Both teams ranked among tops in the league with each squad getting up 24 3-point attempts per game. They didn’t disappoint on Sunday, as the Lakers got up 23 attempts, while the Knicks attempted 26.
» The Lakers held a 39-30 advantage in points in the paint lead.
» The Lakers also owned an 11-2 lead in fastbreak points.
Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter@TBone8.