The Knicks came out with much better energy than they did in Denver behind Toney Douglas, who started for the injured Chauncy Billups. Douglas broke down the slower LA point guards off the dribble, scoring 9 of the first 14 Knicks points as the Knicks led 14 to 5 to open the game. The Lakers pounded the ball into Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum on the inside and Lakers knotted the score at 20 -20 with two minutes to play in the quarter. Kobe Bryant had a quiet first quarter playing the role of distributor, dishing out four assists. The Knicks closed the first on a 7-2 run to lead 27-22 at the end of one led by Douglas's 12 points.
The Lakers benched provided a spark to start the second behind Lamar Odom and Matt Barnes. Odom hit his first four shots to start the period while Barnes did his usual dirty work: playing tough defense and diving for loose balls. The Lakers 15-3 run to start the period gave them a 37-30 lead with eight minutes to play int he quarter. Amare Stoudamire re-entered the game after early foul trouble and went to work hitting two face up jumpers which set a thunderous two hand dunk. Carmelo, looking to atone for a 9 for 24 shooting night in Denver and a 1 for 5 start in first quarter, attacked the basket drawing three quick fouls on Metta World Peace. With Kobe content to play the role of passer, the Lakers offense struggled as the Knicks regained the lead at the half , 51- 42. Toney Douglas led the Knicks with 16 points , followed by Stoudamire and Anthony with 11 each. The Lakers were led by Andrew Bynum with 13 points and Lamar Odom with 10. Kobe Bryant finished the half with 4 points, 6 assists on 2 for 8 field goals
With the Lakers struggling, Kobe went back into scoring mode. Bryant scored the first 10 points of the half on 5 for 6 field goals as the Lakers took a one point lead. The Knicks responded behind Douglas who continued to work over Derek Fisher and Steve Blake. With the Laker guards playing off, Douglas stepped behind the line and dropped in another 11 points in the quarter to finish the third with 27, just three points off his career high of 30 set last season versus Chicago. At the end of the third, the score was tied at 74. Kobe finishing with 16 in the quarter to take the Laker scoring lead with 20.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair as the two teams exchanged the lead over the first three minutes. With Douglas on the bench, and Anthony and Stoudamire resting, the Knicks got a surprise contribution from ex-Laker Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf crashed the offensive glass scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds. The Lakers answered Turiaf with Steve Blake knocking down open jumpers to keep the Lakers close. With nine minutes remaining, Bryant, Stoudamire, Anthony re-entered the fray along with the star of the night Douglas. The Knicks went away from Douglas and tried to establish Stoudamire down low but Bynum was up to the challenge rejecting Stoudamire at the hoop and contesting shots. Bryant continued to go into the post , using a variety of post moves against Landry Fields. With five minutes to play the Lakers looked to have created some seperation with an eight point lead, 96-88. Douglas went back to work converting a three-point play and then a steal and layup. Douglas would finish the night with 36 to lead all scorers. The Knicks finally regained the lead at 100-98 with two and half minutes to play on two Anthony free throws. The Lakers would even the score at 100 on a tip -in by Gasol. The two teams exchanged empty possessions. With 1:20 left, Bryant would hit one of two free throws to put Lakers up 101-100. Douglas would make the last of his career high scoring night with a bank shot over the out stretched arm of Bynum as the shot clock went off to put the Knicks up 102-101. A Bryant three point play with 41 seconds left gave the Lakers a 104-102 lead . After a timeout, the Knicks ran the clock down before Carmelo hit a tough turnaround with twenty seconds left to tie the game at 104. The Lakers ran "iso-Kobe" for the last shot. Bryant worked his way into paint and drew a defender but instead pitched it out to Odom who knocked down a baseline jumper with 0.2 seconds to give the Lakers the win 106-104.
A "Melo" Night: Carmelo Anthony took a back seat to the career night of Toney Douglas. Anthony scored 19 points on 7 for 17 field goals.
Toney Award: Toney Douglas was fantastic in defeat, scoring 36 points on 13 for 22 shooting , 4 for 7 three point field goals. He also registered 4 steals and completely terrorized the Laker point guards
Sixth Sense: Lamar Odom continued to state his case as the early season's Sixth Man of the Year, coming off the bench scoring 21 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and knocking down the game winner
Boston 95, Orlando 87