The New York Knicks continued their scintillating early-season play on Thursday, but it did not come without a price. Before a raucous Madison Square Garden crowd, the Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 116-107, and brought their record to a robust 17-5.
However, the win came with a price—an injury to star Carmelo Anthony.
With the Knicks ahead 77-61 in the third quarter, Anthony went into the lane for a layup, only to be hit by Dwight Howard for a hard foul. Crashing to the ground with a thud, Anthony landed awkwardly, left the game with a sprained left ankle and did not return.
Anthony's injury is just about the only reason the Lakers were even within shouting distance on Thursday.
The Knicks dominated from the opening tip at MSG, breaking out to a 41-27 first-quarter lead behind 22 points from Anthony. New York continued its dominance in the second period and walked into the locker room with a 19-point lead.
However, after Anthony went down, the Lakers came roaring back. Spurred by 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles won the final two quarters and even pulled within six points with a minute and a half remaining in the contest.
As has been the case often this season, it just wasn't meant to be for the Lakers. Thursday marked the team's fourth consecutive loss and brings its record to 4-9 under Mike D'Antoni.
The Knicks, meanwhile, will await word on Anthony's ankle as they cautiously celebrate another huge victory.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony
He may have only lasted 23 minutes, but they were certainly memorable ones. Anthony ended Thursday's contest with 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting and grabbed three rebounds as well.
While those were impressive numbers as a whole, it was his sheer brilliance in the first quarter that ultimately spurred his team's win. Health is obviously the first concern, but 'Melo's MVP candidacy gets better by the day.
What's Next for the Lakers?
Los Angeles will have no time to stop and collect its thoughts, as the team stays on the road to take on the Washington Wizards on Friday.
What's Next for the Knicks?
New York gets a 24-hour reprieve from the NBA grind before another home tilt against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.