Los Angeles, November 24: The Los Angeles Lakers were without suspended superstar LeBron James and not even a Russell Westbrook triple-double could fuel the title hopefuls as they were beaten 106-100 by the New York Knicks.
James was not on the court because of a ban handed down – the first of his illustrious career – for his ejection against the Detroit Pistons, the four-time NBA champion struck Isaiah Stewart in the face and drew blood, sparking a melee.
Since James joined the Lakers in 2018, the team had been averaging 113.0 points and with a winning percentage of 64.6 when he plays heading into the matchup, while averaging 107.4 points with a 39.7 winning percentage when he does not.
In his absence, former MVP Westbrook had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists but the Lakers still lost on the road against the Knicks on Tuesday (November 23).
Westbrook posted 18 points in the third quarter to tie the game after the Lakers (9-10) had fallen in a 25-point hole, however, the Knicks recovered to beat the storied franchise for the ninth time in 11 games.
Anthony Davis put a pre-game illness aside to battle for 20 points, six rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.
Julius Randle inspired the Knicks (10-8) with 20 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, while Evan Fournier contributed a team-high 26 points.
Porzingis achieves career first as Mavs win
For the first time in his career, Kristaps Porzingis (30 points) scored 20 or more points in seven straight games after helping the Dallas Mavericks trump the Los Angeles Clippers 112-104 in over-time.
Denver's slide continues as Jokic sits out again
Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic missed his third straight game due to a right wrist sprain and the Denver Nuggets went down 119-100 to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Nuggets have lost five consecutive games – their worst run since a five-game skid in January 2017.
The number one pick in the NBA Draft, it is safe to say Cade Cunningham's rookie season has been a baptism of fire.
The first-year Pistons teenager has been criticised for his performances. In a 100-92 loss to the Miami Heat, he was just two-of-10 shooting – making one of seven three-pointers – for six points in 29 minutes, while he had four turnovers.