Here are a few takeaways from the game:
– Julius Randle started the game 4-of-4 from the field with nine points against his former team, forcing the Lakers to take a timeout with 6:22 remaining in the first quarter as the Knicks held an early 15-10 lead.
Randle missed his first shot of the game on a three point attempt with 3:42 left in the quarter, Dennis Schroder grabbed the rebound and took it down the court before hitting a jumper to cut into the Knicks’ lead. Schroder would score on the Lakers’ next two possessions to tie the game at 23-23. New York would trail 28-26 at the end of the first, committing back-to-back turnovers to close out the quarter.
– Rookie Obi Toppin threw down an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Alec Burks as the Knicks went up 32-28 with good defense leading to easy offense in the second quarter.
Randle drove the court and went through Schroder, who was looking to draw a charge, for an easy layup that gave the Knicks a 44-43 lead with 3:39 left in the half. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel called a timeout immediately, and was very upset that the charge was not called.
– Elfrid Payton attacked the rim and converted on the layup, giving the the Knicks a 53-50 lead before Lakers big man Andre Drummond got an offensive rebound and went back up for the easy dunk. Randle made a deep two with six seconds left, putting the Knicks up 55-52 at halftime. He scored 19 points through two quarters on 7-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-3 from beyond the arc — it was the team’s only made three pointer in 11 first half attempts.
– RJ Barrett scored his first point of the night early in the third quarter, making the second of two foul shots. Reggie Bullock then scored his first points of the night, connecting from deep for threes on back-to-back possessions, as the Knicks’ lead grew to 62-56 with 9:23 left in the quarter.
Barrett finally made his first field goal with a smooth layup over Drummond, he had started the game 0-of-8 from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc. After two Schroder foul shots, Barrett hit a pullup jump shot on the next possession to make it 72-64 Knicks.
– With the shot clock winding down, Randle had the ball knocked out of his hands by Wesley Matthews but regained possession and drilled a foul line jump shot as the buzzer sounded. Next time up the court, Randle nailed a three pointer to make it 79-64 and give the Knicks their biggest lead of the night.
The Knicks’ All-Star scored on a putback layup with time running out in the quarter, giving the team a 81-68 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
– LA had cut into the New York lead, but Randle converted on an and-one layup to put the Knicks back up ten, 97-87 with 4:26 left in the game.
He finished the night with 34 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 39 minutes of action. Payton contributed well with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Barrett had only seven points on a tough 2-of-11 shooting performance. Nerlens Noel had six points, nine rebounds, four steals, and two blocks in 30 minutes. Derrick Rose scored 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
The Knicks are off on Tuesday and will travel to play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.