A Lonzo Ball-less Los Angeles Lakers managed to outclass a competitive New York Knicks at the Staples Centre, outscoring the New York side 30-18 in the fourth quarter. Even though Kyrie Irving scored 40 at the TD Garden, it didn’t save his side from succumbing to a third straight home loss.
New York Knicks 107 – 122 Los Angeles Lakers
Even though it was Porzingis who got the tip-off, Julius Randle got the scoring started on the day with two back-to-back dunks. The Knicks were quick to take the lead but three trebles by Brook Lopez pegged them back midway into the first quarter. Neither team was ready to let the other team run away with the lead and at the end of the first quarter, the game was easily poised at 30-29 in the hosts’ favour. After the interval, it was the Lakers who started off on the offensive and within three minutes, they had extended their lead to nine points. But the Knicks clawed their way back into the game and with just over two minutes left made it a three-point game. A late run by the Lakers saw them enter the midway break with a four-point lead.
But that was ended in just 30 seconds of the restart as Tim Hardaway came up with a four-point play to level the scores. The Knicks build on that and quickly established a six-point lead midway in the third. But the Lakers went in a 9-2 run to retake the lead with under five minutes to go. With the crowd getting involved in the game as well, the Lakers extended their lead to eight points with one quarter to go. The Knicks reduced the deficit to six points but two back-to-back clutch twos by Clarkson handed the hosts the first double-digit lead of the match. After that it was all downhill for the New York side who just crumbled under the pressure and with the lead extending with every play, they just appeared to give up. Eventually, the Lakers completed the win with a comfortable 20-point cushion and with 17 wins now, they might have an outside chance of making the playoffs.
Orlando Magic 103 – 95 Boston Celtics
As the game started, it appeared that Kyrie Irving appeared to be in good touch as he put up numbers with drives, fall back jumpers, and even from the perimeter and propelled the hosts to a 21-15 lead early on. Magic fought back with some good play by Aaron Gordan and appeared to be headed into the break with a lead before Terry Rozier come up with a steal and a layup to take his side into the lead with a one-point lead. With some great play by Elfrid Payton and Evan Fournier, Orlando race to an eight-point lead but Boston who have shown great resilience in the season so far did the same and with an Irving jumper cut the lead to just two points with a couple of minutes to go. It got better for the Celtics as they went into the break with a lead of one point.
Orlando came back onto the court with a renewed sense of confidence and with the Celtics missing their shots, the visitors took a 10-point lead as the scoreboard reflected five minutes to go in the quarter. By the end of the quarter, Orlando, with 32 points coming from the bench, had taken a 19-point lead due to their 55% field goal shooting average. The Celtics were not going to go down without a fight and with four minutes left in the ball game, they reduced the deficit to just eight points. However, Orlando ensured they didn’t let the lead slip and went on to secure the win quite comfortably at the end. The end also signalled the third that the Celtics have lost at the TD Garden in the last game and could be a concern with the Raptors closing in at the top spot.
Other results :
Nets 101 – 100 Pistons
Pacers 94 – 86 Spurs