Reserve Xavier Henry scored 22 points and the Los Angeles Lakers routed the New York Knicks 127-96 in a showdown of Phil Jackson’s current and former clubs.
Jackson, who coached a record 11 NBA championship clubs, was named the president of basketball operations for the Knicks earlier this month, AFP reports.
Jackson, who is engaged to top Lakers executive Jeanie Buss, guided the Lakers to five NBA crowns after coaching the Chicago Bulls to six NBA crowns in the 1990s with Michael Jordan leading the way on the court.
The man charged with turning New York into a winner had a luxury box seat to view the Knicks on Tuesday, who desperately need every victory to try and reach the playoffs, being outclassed by the Lakers, who are already assured of missing the playoffs.
“(This) gives us confidence,” Lakers playmaker Xavier Henry said. “We’re going to keep pushing. We’re still building. We want to show these fans we’re still building up. We’re not quitters. We’re going to show up and do the best we can.
“We’ve got guys who are young who want to come out here and play hard and help this team win.”
The Lakers, who led 50-42 at half-time, scored a season-high point total and produced 51 points in the third quarter, the most by the Lakers in any quarter in team history.
The Lakers hit 18-of-28 3-point shots, with Nick Young connecting on 5-of-6 on his way to 19 points, while Kent Bazemore added 18 points and Chris Kaman added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which shot 58 percent from the floor.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points while Tim Hardaway Jnr came off the bench to score 17 points and Amare Stoudemire added 16 points for New York.
The Lakers improved to 24-46 while the Knicks sank to 29-42, three games behind Atlanta for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with 11 games to play.