Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points as the New York Knicks ruined what might have been Kobe Bryant’s final outing at Madison Square Garden, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 99-95 on Sunday. Prior to the game, Kobe hinted to coach Byron Scott that his farewell tour was underway. Find out more in this Lakers vs Knicks report.
During his illustrious career, Kobe always elevated his game while playing in the world’s most famous arena. The New York crowd has forever been appreciative of Kobe’s greatness. Sunday was no different. The crowd gave the ‘Black Mamba’ a standing ovation, realizing the end was in sight.
Kobe finished with 18 points, not even close to the 30.7 ppg he had been averaging at MSG, and fewer than half of the 40+ he had managed on three previous occasions at the arena. Kobe shot a paltry 6/19 from the field and 2/10 from deep, looking like the shadow of his once great self.
Lakers vs Knicks
The Lakers blew a golden opportunity to register a road victory. They squandered a three-point lead as Knicks went on a 11-0 lead in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Purple & Gold. Langston Galloway made a go-ahead three with 2:01 left (watch video below) followed by a Kobe missed shot from deep. Kobe then proceeded to foul Anthony twice, who made his free throws as the Knicks ran away with a 98-90 lead. Knicks went on an 18-4 run in the last seven minutes, highlighting the Lakers squad’s inexperience.
Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez and Langston Galloway scored 14 points apiece as Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak, registering their first home win of the season. Kirstaps Porzingis (12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks) continued to excite and finished with a game high plus/minus rating of +18.
For the Lakers, Roy Hibbert finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. The young trio of Julius Randle (6 points, 11 rebounds), Jordan Clarkson (10 points, 1 assist) and D’Angelo Russell (6 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) failed to impact the game after the impressive showing against Brooklyn Nets on Friday.
Kobe acknowledged the loud cheers as he waived to the crowd before exiting into the tunnel.