Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/19

Game 1: Wednesday, November 19th
Lakers104Final
Knicks83
Game 2: Tuesday, December 9th
Knicks90Final
Lakers98

Lakers 104

(9-3, 4-3 away)

Knicks 83

(3-8, 2-4 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:30 PM ET, November 19, 2003

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAL 32 19 29 24104
    NY 24 25 18 1683

    Top Performers

    LAL: K. Malone 17 Pts, 14 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    NY: H. Eisley 13 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    L.A. has 47-6 free-throw edge

    NEW YORK (AP) -- In his 35-plus seasons as an NBA player and coach, Don Chaney could not recall a free throw discrepancy quite like this one.

    Karl Malone was one of three Lakers to make more free throws than the Knicks attempted, helping Los Angeles end its three-game road losing streak with a 104-83 victory over New York on Wednesday night.

    The Lakers had a whopping 47-6 edge in free throw attempts in a game that featured 53 fouls -- 34 on the Knicks.

    "That's a glaring thing right there, that was huge," Chaney said. "To me, that stat stands out more than anything else."

    Malone had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Shaquille O'Neal had 23 points and Kobe Bryant added 21 as the Lakers won with ease against a Knicks team that was short-handed to begin with -- Keith Van Horn sat out with a sprained ankle -- and was further depleted by the referees' frequent whistles.

    The Lakers were 37-for-47 from the line, while New York was 6-for-6.

    The Knicks got into immediate foul trouble, with Allan Houston, Kurt Thomas and Dikembe Mutombo each picking up two personals within the first 5½ minutes.

    "I don't know if the rules have changed, but I'm very surprised at the way the game was called," Mutombo said. "Some of the fouls I've seen them let it go before, and today they were calling every bump. I don't know, maybe I have to go read the rule book again."

    Houston had three fouls before the first quarter ended, but Frank Williams did a nice job filling in by scoring 10 points in the second quarter as New York trailed just 51-49 at halftime.

    Lakers coach Phil Jackson was angry with his team in the first half over its shot selection, just as he was a night before when the Lakers played poorly throughout the second half of a loss at Detroit.

    "We've been playing pretty poorly on the road," Bryant said. "It was important for us to come out and get a victory here."

    The Lakers righted themselves in the third quarter, beginning to pull away after Thomas picked up his fourth foul just 1:49 into the period along with a technical foul for complaining.

    Two free throws by Gary Payton completed a 20-8 run and gave the Lakers a 76-61 lead as the Knicks were getting nothing offensively from anyone. Shandon Anderson even had an airball from the right corner on a wide-open 3-point attempt.

    The Knicks did not attempt a free throw in the third quarter while the Lakers took 21, making 17.

    "They played aggressively, but I don't think we played that passive to have that kind of discrepancy, either," Houston said.

    Malone helped finish off the Knicks in the early part of the fourth quarter, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds while failing to get credited with what should have been at least two assists. Derek Fisher's layup off a pass from Malone made it 94-75 with 4:55 left, ending any suspense for a subdued crowd that booed Bryant only minimally.

    "This is the best reception I've had (on the road)," Bryant said.

    Williams led the Knicks with a career-high 14 points.

    Game notes


    The Knicks record for free throw discrepancy is 42 in a game against Portland in 1985. ... Reporters who covered the Lakers in Detroit said the team seemed unusually downcast after the loss. Jackson and Bryant said the team was unhappy with its defensive effort in the fourth quarter, while O'Neal explained that the players were upset with the officiating of veteran referee Jess Kersey and were holding their tongues. "If you don't have nothing nice to say, you can't say it," O'Neal said. "We've got to save our money." ... Fisher, shooting only 35 percent entering the game, missed his first nine attempts from the field. ... This was the Lakers' final road game of the month. They had consecutive road losses at New Orleans, Memphis and Detroit.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    LAL
    NY
    Points 104 83
    FGM-FGA 32-74 (.432) 36-84 (.429)
    3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 5-19 (.263)
    FTM-FTA 37-47 (.787) 6-6 (1.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-41 7-41
    Assists 18 17
    Turnovers 15 21
    Steals 14 4
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 1 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 34 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    New York
    Karl Malone Malone
    Points: 17
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Howard Eisley Eisley
    Points: 13
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1