LOS ANGELES — Dealing with injuries and heading for one of the worst finishes in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers soothed their wounds for one night Tuesday.
Buoyed by a franchise-best 51-point outburst in the third quarter, the Lakers routed the New York Knicks 127-96 at Staples Center.
Reserve guard Xavier Henry scored 22 points to lead the Lakers past the Knicks for the sixth consecutive time at Staples. The result 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.
“We just hit shots,” said Lakers forward Nick Young, who finished with 20 points and shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range. “It felt good. We all had a little rhythm, and we all were locked in.”
Knicks center Tyson Chandler said he was “very shocked” by the blowout, particularly since it occurred against the Lakers, who lost four of their previous five games.
“I did not expect this coming in here,” said Chandler, who had 12 points and five rebounds. “I expected us to score a lot of points, but I expected us to slow them down at some point. But that was never the case. Fifty-one points. They had 87 points in two quarters if you add the second and third. It was a bad defensive night for us.”
Henry, who opted to forgo season-ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist, hit eight of 11 attempts from the floor.
“I know how much it hurts, but I know I can get through it in a game,” said Henry, who made three of four 3-point attempts. “My wrist just has to warm up. That’s the only thing. Once I get warm, I’m cool.”
Los Angeles forward Kent Bazemore finished with 18 points, guard Jodie Meeks scored 14, and center Chris Kaman chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds.
Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points and nine rebounds. Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. added 17 points for New York, and forward Amar’e Stoudemire scored 16.
“It’s very disappointing just from the fact that I don’t think we competed tonight,” Anthony said.
The Los Angeles bench outscored New York’s reserves 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.
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 period. The record output broke the previous mark of 49 points in a quarter accomplished twice: in 1972 against the Golden State Warriors and in 1966 against the Chicago Bulls.
“It went downhill from there,” Anthony said. “I don’t think you can win a game giving up 80-something points in two quarters, and that was the case tonight.”
After trailing 22-14 after one quarter, Los Angeles turned its fortunes around in a big way.
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 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. … Injured PG Steve Nash will accompany the Lakers when they 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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