One night after their biggest win of the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers travel to New York to battle the Knicks, as the two teams rumored to be most interested in Carmelo Anthony face off at Madison Square Garden. Kobe Bryant scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half Thursday night in Boston, leading the Lakers to a 92-86 comeback win over the Celtics, the first win for the Lakers over a top-four team in the NBA this season. The Lakers look for a season sweep of Amare Stoudemire and the Knicks, who the Lakers defeated 109-87 at Staples Center on January 9.
Anthony has long been rumored to eventually end up with the Knicks, although the rumor of the week has been Carmelo to the Lakers. However, in reality, a deal with the Lakers doesn't seem feasible because: (a) the Lakers don't seem to want to part with Andrew Bynum; and (b) it seems the Nuggets are trying to use the Lakers to drive up the price for the Knicks. But none of that matters Friday night, as the Lakers attempt to win their fourth game in a row on their Grammy road trip.
The Lakers have beaten the Knicks seven straight times, including the win earlier this season. In addition, the Lakers have won three straight and are 7-3 in their last 10 games at Madison Square Garden. Two years ago, Kobe set a new MSG record with 61 points. A win for the Lakers tonight would give them identical records of 19-8 at both home and on the road. The Lakers are 8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. The 5 p.m. PST game will be televised on both ESPN and KCAL.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.