With a triple-double, LeBron James remains the King of Madison Square Garden
good news for LeBron James : the loss didn’t spoil his big night. In fact, with the momentum of a dazzling “King James”, author of a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists while he alone lives in fourth place in the ranking of the best passer of story, the Lakers held at Madison Square Garden, driving away, in overtime after mismanaging “money-time” in the fourth quarter, Knicks attractive.
Because this New York team, which got off to a terrible start (2/16 on shots to start) and then often relayed two or three possessions, never really gave up. In particular in the last minute, where the New Yorkers erased in a few seconds the delay of 6 points, under the impulse of a Jalen Brunson elusive, to seize the extension.
But an attack that is too static and predictable, too often comes down to a simple “pick-and-roll” between Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle then a separation for one of the two, ended up denying them the victory in this overtime, against the Lakers is not more innovative in attack it is true, but eventually more effective, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to fold the match with decisive baskets.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– LeBron James, a little more history, a little closer to the top. First, the “King” took fourth place in the ranking of the best passers in the history of the league, passing Mark Jackson and Steve Nash on the same night, to score 10,338 career assists after his 11 in this meeting , with now Chris Paul (11,246 assists) and his third place in the viewfinder. Then, “LBJ”, by scoring 28 points, fell below 100 remaining points before breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “all-time” record for points scored. Exactly more than 89 points, before equaling, then exceeding the 38,387 units of the former icon of the Bucks and the Lakers.
– A final possession that leaves a confused, side Knicks. In fact, while they were at -6 at the beginning of the last minute (114-108), about to give up their weapons, Tom Thibodeau’s men came back furiously, in three possessions, until the “Purple & Gold”, after a decisive basket from Jalen Brunson. Behind, the leader of the Knicks even drove a passage with force to Anthony Davis, thus offering, with more than four seconds left on the clock, an opportunity for his men to plant the “game- winner”. Nothing, New York, at the end of the time-out, fell into the caricature with separation for Julius Randle, who came to nail himself, along the baseline, in a two-man between LeBron James and Anthony Davis, when not firing a shot… Not a move off ballnot an uncarried screen, just a predictable separation: there was clearly something better to do on this last possession, which could have saved the Knicks an extension that seemed, frankly, they were doomed to lose, because of “money – time” negotiated the seizure.
✅ Anthony Davis. Like every interior the Knicks have faced since Mitchell Robinson was injured ten days ago, Anthony Davis had fun against the young and naive Jericho Sims, before rolling up his sleeves against a more established and experience Isaiah Hartenstein. But overall, “AD” dominated in the paint and more generally around the circle, compiling 27 points and 9 rebounds and 2 interceptions on the defensive side.
✅ Rui Hachimura. For just his fourth game in the Angelinos, the Japanese winger is his team’s X-factor, the third most important player for Los Angeles behind the James-Davis duo. Starting remarkably well in the first quarter, the former Washington brought a good volume of play that was consistent throughout the meeting, finishing with 19 points and 9 rebounds.
✅ Jalen Brunson. By far the best player on the Knicks side. Aggressive from the first to the last minute without lowering his intensity, perhaps even a bit greedy (13/29), always knowing the right pass to perform, the leader of New York remarkably finished very strong, registering two decisive baskets at the end of the match, including floating equalizer, before incurring an offensive foul seconds later against Anthony Davis, which could have been the match point if his team had communicated better in their final possession… All that was missing was victory for a perfect night, and we can easily imagine that the former Villanova should be disappointed not to crown such a great performance (37 points and 6 assists) with a victory, when he finished the best month of his career (28.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists on 48% shots including 45% from behind the arc in January).
✅ Immanuel Quickley and Isaiah Hartenstein. There wouldn’t even be an extension without the contribution of the two substitutes, very, very precious in this match. In an often predictable attack around the “pick-and-roll” between Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, the duo off the bench raised the Knicks’ ceiling, the first of his usual spark on offense ( 19 points and 8 assists), the second with a big presence under the panels, with a big double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds (including 7 offensive!) for the challenger Anthony Davis, while the poor Jericho Sims was eaten alive (0 points and 4 fouls in 13 minutes). The bench is rarely a pleasure for the Knicks, but Quick’ and Hart’ certainly got the job done in this meeting.
✅⛔️ Julius Randle. It was a mixed night, albeit a disappointing one for the Knicks’ strong winger, certainly the author of 23 points and 12 rebounds, but incredible in his body language and his defensive involvement, in particular. This is the second time in a row, after the loss against the Nets this weekend, that we’ve had this feeling at No. 30, which is a little less sharp, surprisingly, from his excellent game in Boston.
– Knicks (27-25): reception of Heat, in the evening of Thursday to Friday (01:30).
– Lakers (24-28): trip to Pacers, in the evening from Thursday to Friday (01h).