The Los Angeles Lakers may remain on track for their worst season since relocating from Minneapolis in 1960, but they notched a rare highlight Tuesday night against the New York Knicks, pouring in a franchise-record 51 points in the third quarter.
The record-setting outburst proved to be the difference-maker in the Lakers' 127-96 victory, as Los Angeles shot a sparkling 19-of-26 from the field during the quarter to extend an eight-point halftime lead into a 28-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter. The barrage featured six three-pointers and marked the first time an NBA team had scored 50-plus points in a quarter since the Indiana Pacers put up 54 on the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 9, 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
One of the six third-quarter threes resulted in a four-point play for Nick Young, who helped the Lakers make further edits to their record books. Young's six four-point plays on the season are a new team record, while the Lakers' nine four-point plays as a team this season also established a new franchise mark.
Tuesday's blowout victory had to provide some measure of satisfaction for Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni, whose failed tenure as the Knicks head man from 2008 through 2012 resulted in much derision from New York fans. D'Antoni now owns a 2-2 record against the Knicks since accepting the Lakers' top job in November 2012.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lakers' victory was probably bittersweet for former coach Phil Jackson. Announced last week as the Knicks' new team president of basketball operations, Jackson watched the defeat from a Staples Center luxury suite.