They kept it close from the start, but the Lakers couldn’t make it over the hump, falling to the Knicks 118-112, who were led by a hot Derrick Rose.
Both teams got off to a hot start; the Lakers shot an efficient 50% from the field from the opening tip, thanks in part to the surprising contributions made from Luol Deng and Nick Young, with the former having his best performance in a Lakers uniform, dropping 22 points on 8-13 shooting, five of which came from beyond the arc.
Young poured in 15 points himself on 55% shooting in his return to the court after having missed the last six games with a calf injury/ Six of his points came in the first quarter, helping the team stay close to the Knicks.
However, it was Derrick Rose who stole the show for the Knicks, going off for 25 points on an incredible 12-16 shooting night. He made his first 8 shots before finally missing his first shot with 30 seconds remaining in the second period.
D’Angelo Russell, meanwhile, made his return to the court after being out for three weeks with a sore knee and was a bit rusty. He went 1-8 for only three points on the night.
The 2nd-year guard committed four turnovers, some of which could have easily been avoided, had he not rushed or had a better sense of awareness. He did, however, try to make a concentrated effort in making his presence known elsewhere, dropping 5 assists and making a couple steals.
Although the loss hurts in the grand spectrum of things, it was particularly nice to see Deng have his best game as a Laker to date, and hopefully plays as a sign for better days ahead for him.
Additionally, although he did commit a couple boneheaded plays in the game, Clarkson had himself a nice little bounce back game. He went 6-10 from the field for 14 points. The Lakers are going to need him back to his old self fast, so as to help alleviate the workload on Lou, who’s been outstanding off the bench as of late.
Game 26 recap pic.twitter.com/vp5wKbDIBc
— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) December 12, 2016
Up next, the Lakers head onto the road for their longest road trip of the season, with the first game tipping off in Sacramento against the Kings Monday night.
Tip is set for 7:30 PM PST from the Golden 1 Center.
@LakersOutsiders I for one wanted to see the L streak snapped but their inexperience in defense made me snap.
— Some Dark Lord. (@BasedLordPCBruh) December 12, 2016
@LakersOutsiders Deng has started to play better these last few games, good sign
— Deb (@Debmac0718) December 12, 2016
@LakersOutsiders defensive issue is so cunfoinding. Also, if Lakers picked up KP instead of D'Lo, who would be our current PG? KP is amazing
— Rob (@VCTacos) December 12, 2016
@LakersOutsiders NYC bench went off and w Russ looking rusty they need to get more practice time in.
— Ewell Collins (@noremaksnilloc) December 12, 2016
@LakersOutsiders that there were a lot of Takeaways for the Knicks in the second half.
— KD (@KendrwLamar) December 12, 2016
@LakersOutsiders defense is garbage. Need Russell back full strength to win games.
— Fred (@FredMiller24) December 12, 2016