It seemed as if the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers had switched roles for their matchup against one another. The Lakers looked like the team that were playing for their playoff lives, while New York looked like as if they could care less about the outcome of the game. The score certainly showed it as they were destroyed in L.A., 127-96.
Remarkably, New York actually led this game 22-14 at the end of the first quarter, but then had an implosion of historic proportions. They proceeded to give up an astounding 51 points in the third quarter, which was the most the Knicks have ever allowed in a quarter. On the other hand, the Lakers set a franchise record for most points in a quarter with their 51.
Keep in mind that this was all without players like Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. Also, it is unbelievable that this offensive output came from relatively unknown role players. Never with the great teams that featured Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson or Shaquille O’Neal have the Lakers been able to put up over 50 points in a quarter. That truly shows how poor of a defensive effort the Knickerbockers displayed.
They were flat-out embarrassed in what was an absolutely crucial game for the Knicks and just another game for the Lakers, who are simply waiting for the season to be over. The Knicks entered the game 2.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while Los Angeles owns the second-worst record in the Western Conference.
New York did not pick up the pace even after head coach Mike Woodson called timeouts to berate his team for their lackadaisical attitude. It was actually a pretty hopeless sight to see that nothing he was saying was motivating the team.
The Knicks built up a false sense of hope for possibly making the playoffs when they won eight games in a row, but those dreams were absolutely destroyed in the third quarter by Los Angeles. Not only does it look like the Knicks will not make the playoffs after this loss, but it seems like they do not care if they do or not either.