LOS ANGELES — Buoyed by a franchise-best 51-point outburst in the third quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers routed the New York Knicks 127-96 Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Guard Xavier Henry scored 22 points to lead the Lakers past the Knicks for the sixth consecutive time at Staples. They also hurt the Knicks’ playoff hopes, as New York (29-42) fell three games behind the idle Atlanta Hawks for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Henry, who opted to forgo season-ending surgery on his left wrist, which has a torn ligament, hit eight of 11 attempts from the floor. Lakers forward Nick Young added 20 points, while forward Kent Bazemore finished with 18 points.
Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points and nine rebounds.
The Los Angeles bench outscored New York’s 82-21.
The Lakers (24-46) prevailed despite playing without center Pau Gasol, who missed the game due to vertigo. Gasol came down with the illness during the first half of Sunday’s win over the Orlando Magic.
After trailing 22-14 after one quarter, Los Angeles turned its fortunes around in a big way the rest of the way.
The Lakers went on a 27-6 run to take a 41-28 advantage, their biggest lead of the first half, after a layup by Bazemore with 4:44 remaining in the second quarter.
The Lakers made a sizzling 75 percent (15 of 20) of their shots in the second quarter. They led 50-42 at intermission before pounding the Knicks into submission in the third quarter.
The 51 points in the third — the most ever allowed by the Knicks in a quarter — helped balloon the Lakers’ lead to 101-73 at the end of the quarter. The Lakers shot 73.1 percent (19 of 26) in the third, compared to 57.1 percent (12 of 21) for New York, which scored 31 points in the period.
The Lakers connected on 18 of 28 (64.3 percent) from behind the arc for the game. They were one 3-pointer shy of their club record. New York went 4-for-15 (26.7 percent) on treys.
Former Lakers coach and new Knicks president Phil Jackson watched the game from a suite. Metta World Peace, who played with both clubs, also was in attendance.
NOTES: If Mike D’Antoni returns as the Lakers’ coach next season, don’t expect C Chris Kaman to come back with him. For starters, Kaman said he was unaware he was starting Tuesday until he glanced at a lineup card 90 minutes before tip-off. Kaman said D’Antoni never mentioned it. Kaman added that he and D’Antoni haven’t spoken in three weeks. However, that didn’t stop Kaman from speaking his mind before the game. “I think the players know how to play a little if they were given enough guidance from the beginning,” Kaman said. … Los Angeles shot 27.8 percent in the first quarter, compared to 39.1 percent for New York. … The Knicks resume their five-game West Coast swing against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. … The Lakers visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday before returning home to face the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
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