Well, it was ugly as hell, but the Knicks pulled one out at home against the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers. It was a slow, lackluster game that came down to some bizarre plays down the stretch. Some Laker misses and Knick free throws won it late. Game notes:
- Isiah quoted before the game: "If you can't get up to play the Lakers, then you really have no pride." Noted.
- Backing up Isiah's message, the Knicks got off to a good start, feeding Curry and getting Frye some open looks. Smush Parker kept it close, though, as he scored the Lakers first 10 points.
- Frye had one play that I liked especially. He had an open look at a 20 footer, but put the ball on the floor and went flying in for a dunk attempt (missed) that drew Andrew Bynum's second foul. Heady move by Chan.
- Maurice Evans is all muscle. Even his head is ripped.
- Lamar Odom, who must be a nightmare to defend, got looks from Lee, Frye, Jeffries, and Malik Rose. I wouldn't say any of them shut Odom down, but he didn't completely dominate. He had 25 on 9-20 shooting, as well as 6 assists and 9 boards.
- Jeffries finally earned a little bit of that 30 million dollar contract, putting up 14 and 7. If he didn't have to sit because of some ticky-tack fouls, he might've had 20 and 10. He even hit some shots from the perimeter.
- Bynum and Turiaf did a decent job on Curry, but mostly couldn't handle the big fella. Either Curry got fouled, turned the ball over, or beasted all over the Lakers' two "big men". It was kinda funny. Bynum had some slick looks around the basket on offense, though.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who works with the Lakers but doesn't sit on the bench, was in the front row alongside John McEnroe. Wonder what they talked about?
- Biggest play of the game: The Knicks struggled at the end of the first half, even falling behind, but Jeffries hit a tough 3 towards the end to put the Knicks up by 2 going into the break. Considering that the Knicks were something like 2-25 when trailing at halftime (I don't think I'm exaggerating), it was a big bucket.
- David Lee has court vision, bitches. He hit Eddy Curry cutting to the rim at a tough angle, and slipped a slick dime backdoor to a slashing Jeffries in the fourth quarter. The kid does it all.
- Marbury's been shooting pretty well lately, eh? He shot 4-6 from downtown, including a long one to beat the third quarter buzzer.
- Vladimir Radmanovic hit a big 3 down the stretch, and then brought his hottest dance moves, pointing and gyrating when the timeout was called. I think that took an hour off my life.
- I mentioned bizarre plays down the stretch...here we go. First, Crawford cut into the lane, jumped as if he was gonna pass to Curry, couldn't find him, and then just chest-passed the ball at the rim, somehow hitting the shot. Later, Maurice Evans took a 3 for the Lakers that nearly got to the bottom of the net before popping out. With 20 seconds left and a 4-point deficit, the Lakers had to foul the Knicks. Crawford brought the ball up, expecting a foul. He drew contact from Smush Parker, and his momentum carried him out of bounds. No foul was called, and the Lakers got possession. Everyone, including Parker, was fairly surprised. Finally, Jeffries blocked a Brian Cook three-point attempt, and Cook went all Kobe Bryant on Jared's face, slapping him in the eye. Jeffries immediately looked to the ground, trying to find something. Breen thought it was his contact. Clyde thought it was a tooth. I was hoping for an eyeball. It was his contact. Anyway, Frye hit some free throws to ice it, and that's how it ended.
- Injury report: Q sat with a sprained right elbow. Curry's got a sleeve on his injured calf, but looked fine. Marbury's knee looked ok, but something else was bothering him right at the end. David Lee might've bruised a rib fighting for a rebound, but I'll doubt he'll miss any games for it.
- Some stats: Curry had 27 and 9, but coughed up 7
Hmm. Not my best recap ever, but it wasn't really the best game ever. We'll take it. The Knicks face the Bobcats tomorrow, a team that has been quite a handful this season. Let's see if they can somehow turn this win into a streak of sorts, and start making strides before the all-star break. Backatcha tomorrow. Peace.