The New York Knicks made the cross-country journey to LA to play the Lakers on Christmas Day, and everything, including the uniform, ensured that this was a colourful game.
It was only Steve Nash's second game back, but you could already see what a difference he makes to the LA Lakers. As well as putting up the first points for the Lakers, he also had some nice assists that made the Lakers offence look effortless. Especially after watching the Lakers struggle in much of the first part of the season.
Pau Gasol also had a good start to the game, he had 3 assists and 1 3-pointer, showing that he can find a place in this team under MIke D'Antoni.
The Knicks were rocking a bright orange uniform, which must have taken Carmelo Anthony back to his days at Syracuse. He finished the outfit with an orange headband, orange socks, and orange armsleeves. Looked like the Tango man had been in town. Luckily Melo can pull it off.
The only thing that Melo wasn't rocking in orange was his brand new Jordan Melo M9's. They were in a nice cool grey, giving contrast to the bright outfit.
Both teams had a steady first quarter, finishing up with the Lakers up 25 - 23.
By half way through the 2nd, the Knicks bench had outscored the Lakers bench, 17 to 5, thanks to an early 10 points by J.R. Smith. Melo was playing well early on, but Metta World Peace really put a physical game out there in the 2nd to make sure that Anthony wasn't getting things his own way. World Peace also had a good offensive quarter, knocking down 16 points in the 2nd.
Tyson Chandler was also struggling for the Knicks, he missed a whole string of easy put backs, which might put a bit of a dent in his league-leading field goal percentage.
The Lakers were up 51 - 49 at the half.
With it being Christmas Day, Kobe Bryant was wearing his specially designed Christmas Day Kobe 8 System kicks. These colourful, knit-effect shoes had split sneaker heads. Check them out, and make up your own mind.
Carmelo Anthony came out in the 3rd on fire, and knocked down 7 points to help the Knicks to a 10 point run to get the second half underway and put the Knicks out in front. Chandler was still struggling at the start of the 3rd. He was unable to sink an alley-oop and then was fouled on the attempted put back. He then missed both free-throws.
Smith continued to heat up, taking his point tally to 20 by the end of the 3rd and he wasn't alone. Anthony had 17 points in the 3rd alone, taking his total up to 27
Kobe hadn't been making much noise, but he started to heat up in the 3rd taking his points tally to 26.
The Knicks held onto their lead by just a single point at the end of the 3rd quarter, with the score line at 78 - 77.
The Lakers swung things around in the 4th, stretching out a lead by half way through the quarter, and causing the Knicks to make some unnecessary turn overs. Nash continued to rack up assists, reaching the 10 assist mark with over 4 minutes to play in the 4th.
After a disappointing game all-round for Tyson Chandler, he fouled out with 2:22 left on the clock. He only had 6 points and 8 rebounds by that point. Metta World Peace also fouled out of the game with 20 points and 7 rebounds with 1:58 left on the clock. The Lakers were up 94 - 90 at this point.
The game was close at the end. Anthony fouled Pau Gasol as he backed into the basketbal with just 41.4 seconds left on the clock. He hit the first free-throw to put the the Lakers up by 3 points. Both teams exchanged time-outs as time wound down, before the Lakers attacked and Gasol had a decisive dunk, taking the score to 99 - 94 to the Lakers.
New York turned the ball over again, as Jason Kidd threw the ball out of bounds, from an inbound while looking for Carmelo Anthony. On the replay, Anthony was clearly held by Kobe Bryant, preventing him from getting to the ball, but the refs failed to call it.
The game finished 100 - 94 to the LA Lakers.