LOS ANGELES, CA – Rallying from a ten point deficit in the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers mounted a comeback against the tough, suddenly relevant New York Knicks on Tuesday night at Staples Center, earning a hard fought scrappy victory in overtime,101-99. A seesaw battle which had 23 lead changes before a new Laker star emerged!
Talen Horton-Tucker hit the game winning three pointer with only 21 ticks left in OT. It was a crucial victory as the Lakers are desperately seeking to avoid the play-in tournament. “Not too many kids from Chicago can say they did that,” beamed Horton-Tucker, who scored 7 of his 13 points in OT.
Tucker was clutch down the stretch, alongside other valuable role players such as Andre Drummond and Wesley Matthews. Injuries have plagued the defending champions all season, Tuesday night was no exception with LeBron James resting that sprained right ankle, and Alex Caruso left early in the first quarter with soreness in his right foot.
It’s absolutely critical the supporting cast, which has been inconsistent at best, rise to the occasion now that the Playoffs are right around the corner. The Los Angeles Lakers improve to 39-30, still a game back from both the Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks, trapped in the dreaded NO. 7 seed.
Many in Lakers Nation myself included have been frustrated with Wes Matthews, a former All-Star the Lakers acquired during the off season. His confidence, not to mention his deadly three point shooting have struggled thus far. That is until last night.
Matthews grabbed an offensive rebound with three seconds left in regulation, and made a put back to send the game into overtime. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 23 points, Anthony Davis added 20 in the victory.
Tonight marks the final home game in the regular season, hard to believe right? The Lakers will finally unveil their 17th NBA Championship banner in the rafters. LeBron James is also expected to return as well. It all begins at 6:30 with the banner ceremony, followed by tipoff against the Woeful Houston Rockets slated for 7:30 pm PST