The New York Knicks experienced a heartbreaking loss to the LA Lakers on Tuesday night. All-Star Julius Randle had an opportunity to close the game in the final moments with the score tied at 91, but a missed floater sent the game to overtime, where the Lakers pulled away and emerged victorious by two points.
Without LeBron James featuring, the Knicks had a fantastic opportunity to help solidify themselves in the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, but the loss saw them plummet to the 6th seed, allowing Atlanta and Miami to leapfrog them.
The defeat was heartbreaking for several players, including veteran point guard Derrick Rose, who left it all on the court, posting 27 points. Rose hit nearly 50% of his shots and recorded six assists, while Randle posted 31, shooting 11-of-26. Ultimately the Lakers’ defense managed to hold strong, as they rank second, just behind the Knicks in points allowed per game.
“It’s tough, extremely tough,” Rose said. “But by the end of the night, tomorrow when you wake up, you’ve got to have amnesia. But it’s . . . hard right now, I can’t even lie. When you get so emotionally involved in playing hard, you get lost in the game. You want the outcome to be in your favor and it sucks man, it sucks.”
The New York Knicks must forget and move on:
Rose hit it right on the head, the Knicks must have amnesia heading into a homestand where they can secure a spot in the playoffs with just one victory over the next three games.
The Knicks walked away from a six-game road trip with three victories, but losses against Denver, Phoenix, and the Lakers, three of the best teams in the NBA. If the Knicks can’t log wins against quality opponents, the playoffs will be incredibly difficult.
“We came out of the trip 3-3,” Thibodeau said. “We were one rebound away from having a win tonight. And we’ve got to learn. The intensity of the game — this has been a long road trip, there’s been a lot of fight. But we have to understand the intensity of the end of the game. So we’ll learn from it. And it’ll be a quick turnaround going home and we’ll be ready for it.”
Thibodeau knows that his team will work hard day in and day out, but that loss to the Lakers is a difficult pill to swallow. Hopefully, they return with the same intensity against the San Antonio Spurs, who have struggled this season, with a 33-35 record. They’ve won two of their last three games, including victories over the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks.