MANILA, Philippines, November 25 ------ The New York Knicks prevented a late meltdown against a Los Angeles Lakers side without LeBron James, 106-100, at the Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
Despite squandering a big lead, the Knicks were able to regain composure in the fourth quarter against the Russell Westbrook-led Lakers. Immannuel Quickly went 4-of-5 from the field in the fourth quarter to help stymie the Lakers' fightback. Westbrook's 18 points in the third period towed Los Angeles back into the match as they were able to tie the scors twice after trailing by as much as 25 points.
With five minutes left in the game, the Knicks ballooned their lead anew to 12 points, 105-93, after a Quickley 3-pointer. But the Lakers just wouldn't go down without a fight as they went on an unanswered 7-0 run in the next four minutes to cut the lead to five, 105-100.
Julius Randle split at the charity stripe and held the door ajar for the Lakers' comeback attempt, with the Knicks leading 106-105 with 35 ticks left. But Westbrook and Malik Monk missed on triples in the next possession that eventually doomed the Lakers.
Evan Fournier paced the Knicks in the win with 26 points while Randle finished with a double-double of 20 points and 16 boards. Quickley, who caught fire in the fourth, finished with 14 markers. For the Lakers, Westbrook posted a triple-double of 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Elsewhere, the Miami Heat turned back the Detroit Pistons on the road with a fourth quarter comeback, 100-92. The Heat erased a deficit as big as 12 points with an 18-3 run in the fourth quarter. Tyler Herro led the way for the Heat with 31 points in the come-from-behind victory. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry all had 15 points each as well. Jerami Grant paced the Pistons in the losing effort with 21 markers.