Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points before leaving with a sprained ankle and the New York Knicks opened a 26-point lead en route to a 116-107 home win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony, who had 22 points in the opening quarter, left the game midway through the third period and did not return. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said it was a “slight sprain” of the left ankle and that Anthony was day to day.
“Everything is good,” Anthony told reporters. “I’m real sore right now -- ankle, knee, hip. It was an awkward fall.”
The Knicks (17-5), who have the best record in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference, improved to 9-0 this season at Madison Square Garden. Last night’s win came on the opening day of a six-game homestand. They next face the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night.
Anthony hit three 3-pointers in the opening 2 1/2 minutes as the Knicks began the game with an 11-2 run. They led 41-27 after one period and 68-49 at halftime.
Kobe Bryant had 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers (9-14), who have lost four straight and are 2-8 on the road this season.
With Anthony sidelined after falling hard on a foul by Dwight Howard, the Lakers outscored the Knicks 46-38 in the game’s final 19 minutes and pulled within six points in the final period.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, who took over in Los Angeles three weeks ago, was booed by Knicks fans during pregame introductions in his return to Madison Square Garden. He quit as Knicks coach on March 14 while in the final season of a four- year contract.
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