Walton defends LeBron after Knicks defeat

Rex Christensen
March 18, 2019

Lakers coach Luke Walton defended LeBron James after the L.A. star faltered in the final quarter of a 124-123 loss to the Knicks on Sunday.

LeBron James scored 33 points after sitting out Friday's 111-97 setback versus Detroit for what the team called "load management" connected to the groin injury that sidelined him for 17 games earlier this season.

Damyean Dotson scored 25 points and Kevin Knox chipped in 19 for the Knicks, who benefited from a season-high 41-point first quarter to post their first win since a 108-103 victory against Orlando on February 26.

Kyle Kuzma had 18 points and Reggie Bullock added 14 for the Lakers, who have lost eight of nine and were swept in the season series by NY. The Lakers entered today's game at 31-38, 11th in the Western Conference. It's about the details of closing games out once you have that lead.

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Mario Hezonja continues to be the Troll King of the National Basketball Association. James was held to 4-of-15 in the payoff period.

Instead, the team needed to self-reflect on its inability to close out the NBA's last-place team, as the Knicks (14-56) ended their eight-game losing streak by finishing the game on a 13-1 run. JaVale McGee led the team in scoring with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 17 points off the bench while Rajon Rondo racked up 15 points with eight rebounds and seven assists. A good performance overshadowed by his teammates' heroics.

Meanwhile, the New York Knicks have been in a slump of their own as they will be hoping to put a halt to an ugly eight-game skid after getting blown out by the Spurs in a 109-83 road loss on Saturday.

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