NBA: Knicks overcome LeBron’s 109th triple-double, hold off Lakers

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New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, left, greets Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James after an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

LOS ANGELES — Jalen Brunson scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, and the New York Knicks overcame LeBron James’ 109th career triple-double for a 114-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA on Monday night.

Julius Randle had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Immanuel Quickley scored 20 points while the Knicks hung tough in the final minutes and fended off a rally led by James to earn their second road win over the Lakers in 2023. New York went 2-2 on the Western portion of its five-game road trip.

“We took a step forward tonight, and we’re going to try to keep moving forward,” Brunson said. “We’re learning how to bounce back, but we’ve got to continue to stack wins. You can’t be comfortable after just one. Keep stacking them, keep being resilient and just stick together.”

James had 25 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three of four since winning the inaugural In-Season Tournament. Anthony Davis had 32 points and 14 rebounds, but Los Angeles couldn’t capitalize on numerous chances down the stretch to close the gap.

LeBron scored back-to-back baskets to cut the Knicks’ lead to 103-99 with 3:38 left, but Randle rattled home a desperate 3-pointer to beat the shot clock moments later. James missed a 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play that would have trimmed New York’s lead to two points, and Randle cherry-picked a dunk on the other end.

“I feel like our energy was up and down throughout the course of the game,” said LeBron, who has two triple-doubles this season as the only player to get one in his 21st NBA season. “We’ve been feeling it, definitely. Even through that, we still competed and gave ourselves a chance, but it’s a tough one for us.”

Los Angeles’ superstar duo was let down by its supporting cast again as the other Lakers combined for 33.3% shooting.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

“It’s very rare we get outscored in the paint, and (the Knicks) were very deliberate in trying to play downhill, get to the paint, but just constantly coming at you,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “I felt like they caught us standing a little bit.”

Randle scored 16 points in the first half against his former team, while Brunson contributed three 3-pointers in a strong all-around game as New York rebounded from a loss to the Clippers two nights earlier.

The Knicks are already playing without injured center Mitchell Robinson, and big man Jericho Sims then sprained his ankle early on against the Lakers. Isaiah Hartenstein stepped up with nine points and 17 rebounds while playing nearly 39 minutes.

“We knew we would be challenged in this way to be mentally tough, to get through adversity,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “There’s going to be some bumps. We took on a big injury, and I think the guys that are stepping in have been terrific. You need everybody, and we’ve got different guys, someone different almost every night.”

Austin Reaves scored 20 points for the Lakers, who couldn’t win despite getting Davis, D’Angelo Russell and Cam Reddish back from injury after they all missed an embarrassing loss to San Antonio three nights earlier.

“It’s tough, (because) for the whole month of December, we’ve basically been on the road,” Davis said. “There’s nothing we can really do about it. It’s the schedule. We’ve just got to take care of our bodies and get some guys back, hopefully in the next couple of games. But it’s definitely a mental challenge.”

Before their first home game since Dec. 5, the Lakers unveiled a banner celebrating their unbeaten run through the In-Season Tournament, culminating in their victory over Indiana in Las Vegas nine days ago.

With their fans providing polite cheers, the Lakers unveiled the modest black banner — which has room to add future championship years — next to the five Minneapolis Lakers championship banners. They’re all hung in a less-prominent spot on their downtown arena’s north wall, which is dominated by Los Angeles’ 12 gold title banners.

NEXT SCHEDULE

Knicks: At Brooklyn on Wednesday.



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Lakers: At Chicago on Wednesday.





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