MANILA, Philippines – Tim Hardaway Jr knocked in 22 points as the New York Knicks hacked out a 119-112 victory over a Los Angeles Lakers side that played minus their top two scorers in the NBA on Friday, January 4 (Saturday, January 5, Manila time) at Staples Center.
Enes Kanter also collected 16 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks for the Knicks, who had 7 players finishing in double figures to help snap their eight-game losing skid for a 10-29 slate.
LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma – the Lakers’ top two scorers – are recuperating from injuries, while veteran guard Rajon Rondo is out for a month following a hand surgery.
The Knicks got off to a hot 22-5 start before the Lakers made a game out of it after the break. By the 4th quarter, the two teams traded leads but the Knicks took advantage of the Lakers’ sloppy mistakes – including a five-second inbound violation – and outscored them 33-20.
Brandon Ingram had 21 points to pace the Lakers, who slipped to 21-18
Before the game, the Lakers announced that James would miss at least 3 more games due to a strained left groin and get re-evaluated next week. (READ: LeBron to miss at least 3 more NBA games for Lakers)
The four-time MVP sustained his injury during the Lakers’ surprise Christmas Day win over the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Kuzma missed the game after suffering a lower back contusion in Wednesday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rondo also got sidelined for a month after undergoing surgery on his shooting hand. – Rappler.com