It wasn't the Staples Center or Madison Square Garden, but it had the same atmosphere for a Summer League game. Fans packed Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV to watch the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks Monday evening.
What looked like a blowout at the start turned into a closer battle as the game continued. The Knicks led 19-5 after the first quarter, in which the Lakers shot 2-for-17 (11.8%) from the field.
The Lakers outscored the Knicks, 26-17, in the second quarter to cut their halftime deficit to five points. Tarik Black and Jordan Clarkson, who went scoreless in the first quarter, combined for 15 points in the second.
Neither team shot well from long range in the first half. The Lakers went 1-for-5 while the Knicks were 0-for-7.
The Knicks built upon their lead in the third quarter to go up 61-48. They held the Lakers scoreless in the paint and to just four rebounds in the third.
In spite of a fourth quarter push by the Lakers, in which they got within four points, the game finished the way it began. The Knicks held on for a 76-66 win.
Lakers guard Jabari Brown led all players with 20 points (5-14 FG, 2-7 3PG, 8-11 FT). Brown previously missed the first two Summer League games with a laceration in his left eye. He appeared in 19 games for the Lakers last season. Clarkson finished behind Brown with 13 points.
Cleanthony Early and Langston Galloway posted 13 points and nine rebounds apiece for the Knicks in the win. Early shot 6-for-13 from the field while Galloway (2-11 FG) scored eight of his points from the line.
In this game it was the more experienced players who dominated. Second overall pick D'Angelo Russell scored 8 points and had just one assist with 8 turnovers. Knicks first round pick Kristaps Porzingis added nine points and three rebounds for the Knicks.
The Knicks improved 2-0 and will play on Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers dropped to 1-2. Their game will be determined by tournament seeding.