The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed LeBron James and Anthony Davis back to the lineup on Tuesday as they continued their road trip against the New York Knicks.
After dropping the first two games of the trip, the Lakers were in dire need of a win and got exactly that with a 129-123 overtime victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The Lakers got off to a quick start as Rui Hachimura had four early points and then James completed a three-point play to give his team a 9-3 lead.
New York really struggled from the field early, going two for their first 16 and allowing the Lakers to take a 15-5 lead after another Hachimura bucket in transition.
Julius Randle finally connected on a corner 3 to end a long drought, and that led to a Knicks run with Immanuel Quickley followed with one of his own.
Russell Westbrook looked solid in his first shift with seven first-quarter points. Jalen Brunson beat the buzzer with a 3 though so the Lakers’ lead was just 29-24 going into the second.
Quickley scored the first five points of the second quarter to tie the game. Hachimura finally ended a long cold streak for the Lakers with a 3 after they missed their first 10 shots of the quarter. With the Lakers being so cold, Randle gave the Knicks their first lead with a three-point play.
With the Lakers getting careless with the ball and continuing to struggle from deep, the Knicks built their lead all the way to eight before a timeout by Darvin Ham.
James and Davis were inserted back into the lineup out of the timeout and that led to a strong close to the half. After Dennis Schroder banked in a miraculous halfcourt shot to beat the buzzer, the Lakers’ halftime deficit was just 53-52.
Hachimura began the third quarter much like he started the game, getting the Lakers a much-needed bucket with another 3. Davis then came up with a steal and a layup before James nailed a 3 of his own to give L.A. the lead back.
After struggling from the field in the first half, James began to get going offensively in the third quarter. The Lakers also finally started to hit some from deep with Max Christie and Troy Brown Jr. each hitting a corner 3.
The Lakers went into the fourth quarter leading 86-83 as they looked to finally gain some separation. Randle did his best to make sure that didn’t happen though as he had a pair of buckets early in the fourth.
James passed both Mark Jackson and Steve Nash for fourth on the all-time assist when he found Thomas Bryant for back-to-back easy layups/dunks. James then found Hachimura for another dunk in transition to extend the lead to five midway through the quarter.
As is usually the case with Laker games, this one went into the final minutes as a one-possession game. James came up big late though, drilling a deep 3 to extend the Lakers’ lead to six with a little over a minute to play.
The Knicks answered with three buckets in a row though to tie it with 24 seconds to play, setting up a game-winning opportunity for L.A. Davis was called for an offensive foul though, sending the game to overtime.
Davis got the scoring started in overtime on a nice feed from Westbrook. After a pair of free throws by Randle, Schroder hit a massive corner 3 and then Westbrook found Davis again.
Brunson earned a three-point play to cut the Knicks deficit to four with 36 seconds to play. James closed it out with another layup though, putting the bow on his triple-double night.
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