LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Evan Fournier scored 26 points and Immanuel Quickley put up 12 of his 14 in the fourth quarter Tuesday (Nov 23) as the New York Knicks thwarted the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers’ comeback bid in a 106-100 NBA victory.
The Lakers, playing without suspended superstar LeBron James, trailed by 25 in the second quarter. They rallied to tie the score twice in the third period, but never managed to get in front despite a triple-double of 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists from Russell Westbrook.
The Knicks dropped 36 points in the first quarter, but the Lakers closed the first half on a 16-4 scoring run and opened the third period with a 9-0 run to make it close.
They tied it at 79-79 on Carmelo Anthony’s dunk, and Westbrook tied it again at 81-81 with a driving layup.
But with Knicks star Julius Randle – who scored 20 points with 16 rebounds – in late foul trouble, Quickley stepped up for New York, hitting four three-pointers in the final quarter as the hosts held on for the win.
James was serving a one-game suspension after a bloody clash with Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart on Sunday.
James was ejected after “recklessly” lashing out at Stewart, leaving him with blood pouring from a facial injury. Stewart was suspended for two games for repeatedly going after James in the wake of the clash.
Lakers star Anthony Davis, playing through illness, scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds, Avery Bradley delivered 15 points for the Lakers and former Knick Carmelo Anthony added 12 as the Lakers lost for the fourth time in five games.
In Detroit, Tyler Herro scored 31 points and pulled down eight rebounds off the bench as the Miami Heat rallied for a 100-92 victory over the Pistons to launch a four-game road trip.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo added 15 points apiece for the Heat, who trailed by nine going into the fourth quarter.
Herro’s jump shot with 8:09 to play gave the Heat their first lead since the first quarter, and they pulled away from there.
“We really didn’t have any offensive rhythm in the first three quarters – and Detroit had a lot to do with that – but we put together some stops and that helped us get going offensively,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Jerami Grant had 21 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons, who had led the Lakers by 15 after three quarters on Sunday only to come up empty.
“The game is different in the fourth quarter and we’re still learning how to handle that,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said.
“You can be up 10 or up 15, but it doesn’t matter because of the three-pointer and the way teams turn it up late.”