The New York Knicks got their first home win on Sunday afternoon while spoiling Kobe Bryant’s party – perhaps his last MSG NBA party.
New York Knicks 99 (3-4)
Los Angeles Lakers 95 (1-5)
Full Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
By Chip Murphy
In what might have been the final appearance of Kobe Bryant at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks defeated Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers for their first home victory of the season, 99-95.
It was clear Kobe was not his usual vintage MSG self.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 8, 2015
Bryant had 18 points on 6-of-19 shooting, continuing his cold stretch. Every time he touched the ball the crowd would erupt, whether it was with cheers or boos. It wasn’t the way he would have preferred to go out, of course, but it’s a symbol of what it is to come this season. There are going to be plenty of moments that Kobe Bryant wishes could have went another way. Right now his team is 1-5 and their next game is at Miami. It’s going to be a rough year.
As for the Knicks, well the refs robbed Bryant of his big post-game hug moment with Derek Fisher when they threw him out of the game after giving him simultaneous technical fouls. Ironically, he was arguing a foul on a Kobe shot attempt.
Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points to help the Knicks spoil his close friend’s big moment. Anthony only made 8 of his 20 shots but he looked to be finding his rhythm. After the game Anthony had some polite words to say about Bryant’s future, per Ian Begley of ESPNNewyork.com.
Melo on Kobe: “If this is his last hoorah, I’m going to miss him. It’s not going to be the same without him.”
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 8, 2015
Despite Kristaps Porzingis’ poor shooting (just 3-10), he collected his third double-double scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. In what was certainly the rookie’s favorite part of the night, he also got a handshake and some words of encouragement from Kobe after the game. Not surprising considering Bryant and Lakers head coach Byron Scott compared Porzingis to Dirk Nowitzki, per Los Angeles Daily News.
The surprise of today’s game was certainly the play of the much maligned point guard Jose Calderon. Despite all the whispers about lineup changes, he came out and played 35 minutes today scoring 14 points and adding three dimes. Calderon came out after the game and in a classy veteran move took the pressure off of Derek Fisher in regards to the starting lineup move, per Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
Veteran move: Jose Calderon says he doesn’t care if he starts, comes off the bench or is the 4th PG. He just wants to help the Knicks win. — Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 8, 2015
However, the hero this afternoon was Langston Galloway.
We all love the underdog. And that’s what Galloway is. He was undrafted and made the team last year by fighting his way through multiple ten-day contracts. Well today he stole the show at Kobe Bryant’s MSG going away part.
The turning point in the game came with a 1:26 left in the fourth quarter. Langston Galloway hit a three-pointer that gave the Knicks a four point lead. They didn’t look back.
This afternoon’s win was probably more difficult than it should have been, giving that the Lakers give up an average of 113.0 PPG. With all the emotion behind the game we should give the Knicks a pass. It’s also nice to stop this mini three game losing streak and get the first home win.
The Knicks travel to Toronto to play their Atlantic Division rival Raptors on Tuesday, November 10.
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