LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers gave their fans a rare Christmas present on Tuesday, defeating the New York Knicks, 100-94, at Staples Center for their first Christmas Day victory since 2008.
This was the 14th consecutive year the Lakers played on Christmas Day and only their fifth victory during that span. They lost each of their last three Christmas Day games.
The Lakers took the lead for good on Metta World Peace's layup with eight minutes, 23 seconds to play during an 8-0 run that ended with the Lakers leading, 87-82, with 7:01 left.
New York cut the Lakers' lead to two, twice, the last time 96-94 on J.R. Smith's 3-point basket with 1:00 remaining, but never scored again as the Lakers extended their winning streak to a season-high five games and evened their record at 14-14.
Laker guard Kobe Bryant scored a game-high equaling 34 points, giving him 383 on Christmas Day games, breaking the previous NBA record of 377 held by Oscar Robertson. World Peace added 20, Steve Nash 16, Dwight Howard 14 and Gasol 13. Forward Carmelo Anthony led New York with 34, Smith added 25 and Raymond Felton 10.
The Lakers led 25-23 at the end of the first quarter, 51-49 at halftime, but were outscored 29-26 in the third quarter to trail 78-77 entering the fourth quarter.