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Knicks top Lakers at MSG

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Updated 10 months ago on
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NEW YORK — New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher utilized 26 various starting lineups this season with limited results.

On Sunday, he went with the same starters for the sixth time — the most of any lineup in 48 games — and the result was a Knicks win for the fifth time in their last seven games, a 92-80 decision over the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden.

Fisher started Ivan Calderon at point guard newcomer Langston Galloway at the shooting guard, Carmelo Anthony and Lou Amundson at the forwards and Jason Smith at center. This group has started in five of the Knicks 10 wins this season.

Anthony topped the Knicks (10-38) with 31 points and eight rebounds, Galloway tossed in 13 points and Amundson grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds, one off his career best.

Galloway has posted double-figures in points in seven of his 10 games this season.

Calderon contributed four assists and nine points and Smith tossed in nine points.

Los Angeles (13-35), which never led, has lost 10 of its last 11 games. The Lakers were paced by forward Carlos Boozer and guard Jordan Clarkson, who each scored 19 points.

The win was just the Knicks’ second by a double-digit margin this season. They defeated the Denver Nuggets 109-93 on Nov. 16.

“We talked about the importance of starting the same guys a lot in the early part of the season,” said Fisher. “But we were just not able to.

“Whenever healthy you always try and keep the same lineup. It’s been good to have these guys start. You’re starting to see the benefits of these five guys. The first quarters have been really solid for us on several nights recently. If you can have a group that can be solid at the beginning and then can finish a game, I think that’s good for us.”

Fortunately for Fisher, he didn’t need his starters on the floor for much of the fourth quarter on Sunday. New York led by as many as 21 points in the period and the Lakers never got closer than the final score.

Anthony helped establish the Knicks largest lead, 70-51, by scoring seven straight points with 2: 44 left in the third. He poured in 18 points in the quarter.

New York maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second quarter before Clarkson’s two free throws with 19 seconds left brought the Lakers to within 47-39. Los Angeles struggled with its shot in the first half, shooting only 26.8 percent

The Knicks shot 56 percent (14 of 25) in the first quarter and led 32-19. The Lakers committed six turnovers in the quarter and connected on just five of their 20 shots from the floor.

“We fell behind and were never able to catch up,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott. “You can’t fall behind that much and expect to win.”

NOTES: The Knicks signed F Lou Amundson and F Lance Thomas to contracts for the remainder of the season. They had been playing on the second of two 10-day contracts since Jan. 10. … New York recalled F Cleanthony Early from the Westchester Knicks of the Development League. … The Knicks were without C Cole Aldrich (contused left shin), C Amar’e Stoudemire (sprained left knee) and F Travis Wear (strained left hip). … Knicks coach Derek Fisher was drafted by the Lakers in 1996 and won five NBA titles with Los Angeles. … F Kobe Bryant (rotator cuff surgery), G Steve Nash (sciatic pain) and F Julius Randle (tibia fracture) did not dress for the Lakers.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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