Knicks hold off Lakers 101-94 for rare road win
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Derek Fisher stepped onto the familiar hardwood below all those championship banners, and memories of his golden past with the Los Angeles Lakers came flooding back to him.
Fisher then led the New York Knicks to a victory that left him feeling slightly more optimistic about a bleak future back East.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points, Andrea Bargnani added 16 and the Knicks snapped their five-game losing streak with just their fifth road victory of the season, 101-94 over the Lakers on Thursday night.
Alexey Shved had 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks ended a seven-game road skid against the Lakers since 2007. New York won for Fisher in the former Los Angeles point guard's return to Staples Center, where he won five NBA championships alongside Kobe Bryant.
"It was great to get a sweep for D-Fish against his old team," Hardaway said, noting the Knicks' home win over the Lakers last month.
The crowd gave an enthusiastic pregame welcome to Fisher, who exchanged warm greetings with dozens of Lakers employees, players and wealthy fans who watched him at courtside for years.
"I don't enjoy causing harm to people that I'm close to and I care about," Fisher said. "We're both going through challenging times at the moment. ... (The Lakers) will be back, this organization. We haven't had a successful season, but we feel like we're on a path that's going to take us where we want to go."
Langston Galloway scored 12 points as the Knicks won a meeting of two NBA cornerstone franchises fallen on the hardest of times. At a combined 30-98, New York and Los Angeles have two of the NBA's four worst records with five weeks still left in their miserable seasons.
Former Lakers assistants Jim Cleamons, Kurt Rambis and Rasheed Hazzard also are working alongside Fisher and Knicks president Phil Jackson, who watched the second half sitting in the second row next to Jeanie Buss, his fiancee and the Lakers' executive vice president of business operations.
Jackson turned up at the Knicks' shootaround earlier in the day, further indicating the importance of this game to the Knicks' transplanted brain trust.
"He didn't say much, but he definitely wanted to make sure everybody was ready to go tonight," Hardaway said of Jackson, the 11-time NBA champion coach.
The NBA's worst team (13-51) calmly maintained a lead down the stretch, sweeping the season series with Los Angeles (17-47) and picking up its first road victory over a Western Conference team all season.
Jordan Hill had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost six of seven. While Fisher was encouraged by the game, another former Lakers guard was baffled.
"I'm sure D-Fish would like to play us 10 more times before the season is over," Los Angeles coach Byron Scott said. "If I was him, I would. If we haven't learned our lesson about looking at other teams and thinking that we're better than them, then we're not very bright, obviously. You still have to have a fear of losing games like that. I mean, we played teams in the `80s that we knew we were better than, but we made it a point to come out and prove it right away because we didn't want to lose to that team."
Scott also called the Lakers a "selfish" team that "got exactly what we deserved. It wasn't pretty."
Hardaway's driving layup with 3:35 to play put the Knicks up 96-82. Hill hit his second career 3-pointer to trim New York's lead to 98-94 with 24.2 seconds left.
Knicks: New York beat Los Angeles 92-80 at Madison Square Garden last month on 31 points from Carmelo Anthony. ... Quincy Acy missed the game for personal reasons.
Lakers: Top scorer Nick Young missed his ninth straight game with a sore left knee. ... Fisher is fifth in Lakers history with 915 games played for the franchise.
Jabari Brown scored seven points in the first half in his NBA debut for the Lakers, who recalled him from their D-League affiliate. Brown and rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson played together in Missouri's backcourt last season. Brown wasn't drafted after his junior season at Mizzou, but he leads the D-League with more than 24 points per game.
Knicks: at Golden State on Saturday.
Lakers: host Atlanta on Sunday.
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